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US will lead the 21st century: Clinton in last speech

Published on Feb 1, 2013 5:43 AM
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers questions from the audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington January 31, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday took issue with critics who say United States (US) global power is waning, arguing in her final public speech in office that America will continue to lead the 21st century.

But on the day before she officially steps down, Mrs Clinton called for the nation's institutions and relationships to be modernised, saying what was needed was "a new architecture for this new world. More Frank Gehry than formal Greek."

"Think of it," she urged an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank. "Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact it's highly intentional and sophisticated.

"Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures."

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