Angelina Jolie bows out as envoy for U.N. refugee company


United Nations – Actress Angelina Jolie and the United Nations Refugee Agency are parting methods after greater than 20 years, they introduced Friday. 

Jolie has been the U.N.’s highest profile goodwill ambassador and particular envoy since 2001. She indicated Friday that she is opting to work with native organizations as an alternative of with the world physique.

“After 20 years working within the U.N. system I feel it is time for me to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organizations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions,” Jolie stated in a joint statement with the U.N.

Angelina Jolie United Nations
Actress Angelina Jolie, particular envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, offers an announcement in Goudebou, a Malian refugee camp in northern Burkina Faso, on International Refugee Day on June 20, 2021. 

OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP through Getty Images

Filippo Grandi, excessive commissioner for the refugee company, praised Jolie’s dedication to her work. which has taken her on over 5 dozen journeys to international locations like Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, and most lately, Ukraine.

“Angelina Jolie has been an important humanitarian partner of UNHCR for very long. We are grateful for her decades of service, her commitment, and the difference she has made for refugees and people forced to flee,” Grandi stated.

U.N. Under-Secretary-General Melissa Fleming, who was the communications director on the refugee company for a few years and labored with Jolie, tweeted Friday that the actress “opened public eyes, minds and hearts.”

The transfer comes after Jolie has written of her frustration with the U.N.’s incapability to carry peace to a rising variety of international locations in battle, a view she expressed on the General Assembly in 2019.

“We live at a time of blatant disregard for the laws of war that forbid attacks on civilians … We seem incapable of upholding minimum standards of humanity in many parts of the world,” she stated within the deal with. 

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she wrote in a piece for Time journal in June: “One in every six children worldwide—426 million—lives in a conflict zone.” And but, she continued, “Because of the way the U.N. 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.”

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Colombia
Angelina Jolie speaks with youngsters in Riohacha, Colombia, on June 7, 2019. Jolie visited the kids, who had fled Venezuela, in Brisas del Norte, an off-the-cuff settlement inhabited by Colombian refugees who’ve returned to their nation, in addition to Venezuelans escaping a political and financial disaster again house. 

Andrew McConnell /UNHCR through Getty Images

And she took purpose on the 15-nation Security Council’s inaction final month, writing in The Guardian, “We run into some security council members abusing their veto power.”

Richard Gowan, U.N. director for the International Crisis Group think-tank, advised CBS News Friday that Jolie “has demonstrated a remarkable amount of patience with the U.N.”

“She has been one of its most effective celebrity advocates,” Gowan stated. “But we are in an era when political and economic forces are going to make the U.N.’s humanitarian work ever more difficult. 

“I believe that celebrities are going to be on the lookout for different platforms to do good works, like worldwide NGOs, relatively than the U.N. in future, as multilateral diplomacy turns into ever extra sophisticated,” he added. 

During a June journey to a refugee camp in Burkina Faso on World Refugee Day, Jolie advised officers and refugees, “I’ve by no means been as fearful in regards to the state of displacement globally as I’m as we speak.”

“The approach we as a global neighborhood attempt to deal with battle and insecurity is damaged,” she said.

Jolie’s departure as a U.N. spokesperson and envoy on these issues comes at a time when the agency is struggling to deal with an increase in human rights violations around the world.

“At a time when the world is going through complicated, multi-faceted, and interconnected crises, she (Jolie) plans to interact with a wider vary of actors on a broader set of humanitarian points in addition to work extra instantly with native organizations,” the U.N. wrote in its assertion Friday.


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