"We start from the premise that this change is necessary because we face an extraordinary array of global challenges," Rice said during a White House briefing Friday.
Some issues that altered the United States' approach to diplomacy include poorly guarded nuclear facilities, terrorism by al-Qaida and its affiliates, nuclear challenges from Iran and North Korea, genocide and mass atrocities, cyberattacks, pandemic disease, climate change and international criminal networks and organizations, she said.
"These transnational security challenges can only be dealt with in cooperation with other nations," she said. "In the 21st century, America's security and well-being is ... inextricably linked to the security and well-being of people elsewhere."
President Barack Obama will make his first visit to the U.N. General Assembly next week.
While in New York, he will, among other things, deliver remarks at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's summit meeting on climate change, meet with foreign dignitaries and sponsor a lunch for sub-Saharan leaders. Obama addresses the General Assembly Wednesday.