After 20 years of advocating on behalf of individuals who have been forcefully displaced throughout the world, actor Angelina Jolie will be stepping down from her position as a special envoy with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Angeline Jolie will no longer serve as a special representative for the UNHCR, but she will continue to advocate for humanitarian causes, the UN announced on Friday. Jolie, who spent 21 years working for UNHCR and completed more than 60 field missions, declared she intended to continue helping refugees outside of the international organisation.
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The 47-year-old Hollywood star Jolie, in a joint statement with UNHCR said, “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.”
Since 2001, Angelina Jolie has collaborated with the UNHCR, initially serving as a UN goodwill ambassador before being appointed a special envoy in 2012. She completed around 60 field missions to meet with refugees fleeing forcible exile, most recently visiting Yemen and Burkina Faso on behalf of the UNHCR.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filipo Grandi said, “After a long and successful time with UNHCR, 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.”
According to UNHCR, she increased public understanding and support for refugees in this expanded capacity and demanded immediate solutions for those compelled to escape. According to the Geneva-based organisation, Jolie has “worked tirelessly… to bear witness to stories of suffering as well as of hope and resilience.”
Jolie will continue her work with refugees, just not with the UNHCR.