After more than two decades, Angelina Jolie and the UN organization for refugees are no longer working together. The Actor and the organization said in a statement on Friday that she was “moving on” from her position as the organization’s special envoy in order to work on a broader set of humanitarian and human rights problems.
The release cited Jolie as stating that she will continue to do all in her power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people. She added that she felt it was time for her to work differently by directly interacting with refugees and neighborhood organizations.
She had joined the United Nations agency for refugees in 2001 and was named its special envoy in 2012. The multi-hyphenate was described as taking out more than 60 field missions to bear witness to stories of sorrow as well as hope and perseverance” in the press release.
I respect her wish to change her engagement after a long and fruitful tenure with UNHCR, and I support her choice, said the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi who added that he is confident she will apply the same enthusiasm and focus to a bigger humanitarian portfolio, and knows the refugee cause will remain close to Jolie’s heart.”
Jolie hinted at her dissatisfaction with the lack of global progress in putting an end to sexual assault in conflict in an opinion piece that appeared in The Guardian last November.
She criticized the U.N. Security Council members for abusing their veto authority stating that they meet to talk about these atrocities and decide that they must never occur again. We pledge to demarcate that line and to uphold it. But when it comes to making difficult decisions about how to carry out these commitments, we encounter the same issues repeatedly.
Later on, she pushed the UN to establish a permanent, impartial, and investigative agency to gather and assess data in instances involving alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights abuses. She told the AP that, after her children, advancing gender equality, fighting injustice, and aiding refugees were the most significant aspects of her life while presenting that initiative at the U.N. headquarters in 2019.
But they often go hand in hand, she added. Jolie has participated in several advocacy campaigns, most recently urging the United States to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
In 2001, Jolie started going to refugee camps, and the following year, she was named a UNHCR goodwill ambassador. The then-high commissioner expressed his hope that the 26-year-old actress would draw attention from young people to the situation of migrants at the moment.
More than 80% of the world’s refugees reside in developing nations, according to UNHCR, which also reported in May that the total number of displaced people had officially surpassed 100 million. Grandi encouraged world leaders to keep in mind the other humanitarian crises for which his organization was gathering money while applauding the European Union’s efforts to assist Ukrainian migrants in an August interview with the AP.
On its website, UNHCR includes many sorts of “prominent supporters,” including goodwill ambassadors like Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, British novelist Neil Gaiman, and Australian star Cate Blanchett.
A representative for the U.N. organization declined to provide any information in response to a request for clarification, other than to state that UNHCR “has no intention of appointing anyone else in the capacity of special envoy.