Angelina Jolie has stepped down from her UN role, but has more humanitarian work in mind

Angelina Jolie in an off-the-shoulder dress poses for photos at a red carpet premiere

Cast member Angelina Jolie arrives at the 2021 LA premiere of ‘Eternals’. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press)

For more than 20 years, actor Angelina Jolie has been helping the United Nations in its efforts to support refugees. But that partnership officially came to an end on Friday.

In a joint statement, the ‘Eternals’ actor and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that Jolie will leave her role as special envoy to separately advocate for increased human rights.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to support refugees and other displaced persons in the coming years,” Jolie said in Friday’s statement. “After 20 years of working within the UN system, I feel it is time to start working differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organizations and supporting their advocacy for solutions.”

Angelina Jolie in a white blouse speaks into a microphone behind a United Nations podium

Angelina Jolie addresses a peacekeeping meeting at UN Headquarters in 2019. (Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

Jolie’s work at UNHCR began in 2001 as a goodwill ambassador. In 2012, she was appointed Special Envoy.

During her tenure, the actor “carried out more than 60 field missions to bear witness to stories of suffering, hope and resilience,” the statement said. As a special envoy, she recently traveled with UNHCR to Yemen and Burkina Faso to meet with refugees.

In 2013, the Oscar-winning ‘Girl, Interrupted’ star also testified before the United Nations Security Council about rape in a war zone.

“Hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women, children and men have been raped during our lifetimes in conflict,” she said, according to the Associated Press.

“You set the bar high,” she told the organization. “If the … council sets rape and sexual assault as a priority, it becomes one and progress is made. If you don’t, this abomination will continue.”

In addition to her UNHCR work, Jolie has used her Hollywood platform and massive following to bring attention to other humanitarian issues.

On Instagram, she has shared posts in support of Iran’s women’s liberation movement, Ukrainian children displaced by the country’s war with Russia, and more.

“After a long and successful time at UNHCR, I appreciate her desire to shift her involvement and support her decision,” wrote Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “I know the refugee cause will remain close to her heart, and I am sure she will bring the same passion and attention to a broader humanitarian portfolio.”

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *