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

United Nations – Actress Angelina Jolie and the United Nations refugee company are parting methods after greater than twenty 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 a substitute of with the world physique.

“After 20 years working inside the U.N. system I really feel it’s time for me to work otherwise, participating straight with refugees and native organizations, and supporting their advocacy for options,” Jolie stated in a joint statement with the U.N.

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

OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

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

“Angelina Jolie has been an essential humanitarian accomplice of UNHCR for very lengthy. We’re grateful for her many years of service, her dedication, and the distinction she has made for refugees and folks pressured to flee,” Grandi stated.

U.N. Below-Secretary-Normal 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 stay at a time of blatant disregard for the legal guidelines of struggle that forbid assaults on civilians … We appear incapable of upholding minimal requirements of humanity in lots of components 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 each six kids worldwide — 426 million — lives in a battle zone.” And but, she continued, “Due to the best way the U.N. was arrange, it’s tipped in the direction of the pursuits and voice of highly effective nations on the expense of these folks struggling probably the most from battle and persecution whose rights and lives usually are not handled equally.”

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Colombia
Angelina Jolie speaks with kids 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 residence. 

Andrew McConnell /UNHCR by way of Getty Pictures

And she or he took intention on the 15-nation Safety Council’s inaction final month, writing in The Guardian, “We run into some safety council members abusing their veto energy.”

Richard Gowan, U.N. director for the Worldwide Disaster Group think-tank, informed CBS Information Friday that Jolie “has demonstrated a outstanding quantity of persistence with the U.N.”

“She has been one among its handiest movie star advocates,” Gowan stated. “However we’re in an period when political and financial forces are going to make the U.N.’s humanitarian work ever harder. 

“I think that celebrities are going to be on the lookout for various platforms to do good works, like worldwide NGOs, fairly than the U.N. sooner or later, as multilateral diplomacy turns into ever extra sophisticated,” he added. 

Throughout a June journey to a refugee camp in Burkina Faso on World Refugee Day, Jolie informed officers and refugees, “I’ve by no means been as frightened concerning the state of displacement globally as I’m at present.”

“The way in which we as a global neighborhood attempt to deal with battle and insecurity is damaged,” she stated.

Jolie’s departure as a U.N. spokesperson and envoy on these points comes at a time when the company is struggling to cope with a rise in human rights violations around the globe.

“At a time when the world is dealing with advanced, 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 straight with native organizations,” the U.N. wrote in its assertion Friday.

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