Angelina Jolie elements methods with UNHCR, citing need to ‘work in another way’


Angelina Jolie, maybe the world’s most high-profile advocate for refugees, is stepping away from her position as a particular envoy to the United Nations refugee company, citing a need to “work in another way” — outdoors the United Nations.

“After 20 years working inside the UN system I really feel it’s time for me to work in another way, partaking straight with refugees and native organizations, and supporting their advocacy for options,” she mentioned in a joint statement with the company, printed Friday.

The Academy Award-winning megastar has labored with UNCHR for greater than 20 years, serving as particular envoy since 2012. That place took her to nations together with Lebanon, Yemen and Burkina Faso to satisfy displaced individuals and draw consideration to a few of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. On her Instagram account — which has greater than 14 million followers — she posts about Syrian refugees and folks displaced by the struggle in Ukraine.

U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi praised Jolie as an “essential humanitarian associate” for the company.

“We’re grateful for her a long time of service, her dedication, and the distinction she has made for refugees and folks compelled to flee,” he mentioned within the assertion Friday. “After a protracted and profitable time with UNHCR, I respect her need to shift her engagement and help her choice.”

Jolie, based on the announcement, intends to concentrate on a wider vary of humanitarian points, though she added, “I’ll proceed to do every thing in my energy within the years to come back to help refugees and different displaced individuals.”

Lately, Jolie has more and more voiced criticism of worldwide establishments and the strategy of world leaders to battle and humanitarian crises.

Throughout a go to final yr to the Goudebou refugee camp in Burkina Faso, which hosts refugees from the armed battle within the north of Mali, Jolie blasted the failure of worldwide leaders to adequately assist the greater than 82 million forcibly displaced individuals on this planet at the moment.

“The way in which we as a world neighborhood attempt to handle battle and insecurity is damaged,” she mentioned. “It’s erratic, it’s unequal, it’s constructed on inherited privilege, it’s topic to the whim of political leaders, and it’s geared in direction of the pursuits of highly effective nations, together with my very own, on the expense of others.”

Jolie lamented the relative apathy of world leaders for “crimes dedicated in opposition to the ladies and youngsters of Burkina Faso, or Yemen, or Myanmar, or Ethiopia, for instance.”

She has additionally appeared to develop more and more disillusioned with the United Nations, the place everlasting members of the highly effective Safety Council — the US, Britain, Russia, China and France — exert great sway and have the facility to dam motion on human rights abuses.

“Due to the best way the U.N. was arrange, it’s tipped in direction of the pursuits and voice of highly effective nations on the expense of these individuals struggling probably the most from battle and persecution whose rights and lives should not handled equally,” Jolie wrote in an opinion piece for TIME in June. “For many years, the principle focus has been the work of worldwide organizations. There’s been not sufficient consideration on listening to native teams and volunteers, and strengthening their efforts.”

In an indication that Jolie was shifting away from her work with the United Nations, the actress made a surprise trip to Ukraine in April to satisfy with displaced individuals and volunteers serving to them — however in her private capability, not via UNHCR.

Jolie had contemplated parting methods with UNHCR for “some time” earlier than Friday’s announcement, based on an individual near the actress, who answered questions on the situation of anonymity to talk freely in regards to the state of affairs.

“Principally, she shall be simpler as an outsider,” the individual mentioned. “She all the time has been like that and extra with the individuals than the system.”

Jolie has not shared any particulars but in regards to the causes and organizations to which she intends to shift her focus.

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