(WASHINGTON) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a Global Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council on Wednesday night for her years of work in public service and diplomacy.
Clinton was introduced by another former secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, before delivering her acceptance. She began by praising one of the night’s other winners, entertainer Tony Bennett, whom she and her husband, Bill Clinton call a friend.
“He is the Henry Kissinger of music, and Henry Kissinger is the Tony Bennett of diplomacy. Each one of them can make you feel like you’re such a slacker,” Clinton said to laughs. “Tony’s pitch, his tone, his timing is still perfect and that does produce an inferiority complex in us lesser souls who talk and don’t sing for our dinners.”
Clinton spoke on energy, trade, among other topics, and warned of the growing threat from cyber warfare, calling it a priority for “governments as well as businesses.”
Clinton highlighted the EU-U.S. Energy Council, which she started as secretary of state and advocated for the U.S. to receive a most favored nation status label from Europe as a trading partner.
Finally, she warned that NATO was becoming a “two-tiered” organization, separated between the very few nations who contribute resources to shared defense and those who don’t. She pointed to the Libya operation, saying that only three NATO countries actually had the means and manpower to contribute strikes. Clinton said that if other countries don’t start making the funding of NATO a priority, even in these tough economic times, the organization risks “becoming militarily irrelevant.”
The night ended with a song from Bennett, and a photo spray with all the evening’s winners where everyone sang Happy Birthday to Kissinger, who turns 90 years old at the end of the month.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Tom LoBianco, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Deirdre Walsh and Eugene Scott, CNN
Eric Bradner, Shimon Prokupecz and Dan Merica, CNN