- The Hollywood star had been a special envoy for the UNHCR refugee agency for 20 years
Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie has quit as a special envoy for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) after two decades in the role, the United Nations said on Friday.
The star of ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ and ‘Maleficent’ had been an envoy since 2012, carrying out more than 60 field missions for the agency in various parts of the world. This year, she made trips to locations including Yemen, Burkina Faso and Ukraine.
Despite ending her cooperation with the UN, Jolie promised that she would keep helping displaced people in a new capacity. “I will continue to do everything in my power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people. After 20 years working within the UN system, I feel it is time for me to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organizations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions,” the actress said in a joint statement with the UN.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the agency was grateful to the movie star for her “successful” service and “the difference she has made for refugees and people forced to flee.”
“I appreciate her desire to shift her engagement and support her decision. I know the refugee cause will remain close to her heart, and I am certain she will bring the same passion and attention to a wider humanitarian portfolio,” Grandi stated.
In an Instagram post on her decision, Jolie wrote that the UNHCR was “full of amazing people,” and that she still believed in many things that the United Nations does.
However, the actress had recently been critical of the UN. In an article for Time magazine in June, the 47-year-old claimed that “because of the way the UN was set up, it is tipped towards the interests and voice of powerful nations at the expense of those people suffering the most from conflict and persecution whose rights and lives are not treated equally.”
“We have to recognize that our systems for preventing conflict and mass human displacement, and defending human rights, are not working,” she insisted, pointing to the fact that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had taken the number of displaced people worldwide to a record of over 100 million.
- News Agencies