Dr. Condoleezza Rice became the 66th Secretary of State on January 26, 2005. As she stated at her confirmation hearing, "we must use American diplomacy to help create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom. And the time for diplomacy is now." In her remarks at Princeton University on September 30, 2005, Secretary Rice spoke of supporting democratic aspirations: "Now, to support democratic aspirations, we must be serious about the universal appeal of certain basic rights. When given a truly free choice, human beings will choose liberty over oppression; the right to own property over random search and seizure. Human beings will choose the natural right to life over the constant fear of death. And human beings will choose to be ruled by the consent of the governed, not by the coercion of the state; by the rule of law, not the whim of rulers. These principles should be the source of justice in every society and the basis for peace between all states."
The Secretary's objective of transformational diplomacy, articulated in remarks at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, is to " work with our many partners around the world to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people -- and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system...Transformational diplomacy is rooted in partnership, not paternalism -- in doing things with other people, not for them. We seek to use America's diplomatic power to help foreign citizens to better their own lives, and to build their own nations, and to transform their own futures...Now, to advance transformational diplomacy all around the world, we in the State Department must rise to answer a new historic calling. We must begin to lay new diplomatic foundations to secure a future of freedom for all people. Like the great changes of the past, the new efforts we undertake today will not be completed tomorrow. Transforming the State Department is the work of a generation. But it is urgent work that cannot be deferred."
The Secretary's objective of a Democracy Agenda, articulated in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations, is that "America must maintain its confidence in its ability to lead in this [democracy] agenda and in others. In order to do that, the United States has got to be confident about the development of its own democracy. The United States has to be confident that its educational system is training its children and its people to be competitive in a globally competitive world, or we will turn inward and protectionist. America has to be confident that we can continue to welcome people of all backgrounds, of all faiths, of all colors, or we will turn inward. And if America turns inward, it will be less innovative, less creative, and it will not lead. That, it seems to me, is perhaps the highest national security priority among many, is to establish firmly, once and for all, that the United States of America is confident in itself, confident in its capabilities, and, most importantly, confident in the extraordinary power of its values."
In remarks at the UN Security Council the Secretary said: "[O]ne of the most important ways that we must measure the value of our international community is by how effective we are in protecting and providing justice for the most vulnerable of our members. When women and girls are preyed upon and raped, the international community cannot be silent or inactive. It is our responsibility to be their advocates and their defenders"