Angelina Jolie is stepping down as special envoy for the UN refugee agency after more than 20 years of humanitarian work and now wants to engage directly with refugees and organizations, the actress and UNHCR announced in a joint statement .
“After more than 20 years of dedicated and committed work with the UN Refugee Agency advocating for the rights and protection of forcibly displaced people around the world, Angelina Jolie is moving on from her role as UNHCR’s Special Envoy to engage on a broader set of humanitarian and human rights issues,” the UNHCR statement said.
The statement added that Jolie will continue to work to build a more equal, just and inclusive international system.
The actress said that after 20 years, she feels it is time for her to “work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organisations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions.
“I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity I have had to work with so many outstanding and dedicated UNHCR field officers and other colleagues doing lifesaving work globally and to serve as Special Envoy,” Jolie said in ANI report.
During her tenure, Jolie carried out more than 60 field missions. Most recently, she travelled with UNHCR to Yemen and Burkina Faso to meet displaced people.
“I will continue to do everything in my power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people. After 20 years working within the UN system I feel it is time for me to work differently, engaging directly with refugees and local organisations, and supporting their advocacy for solutions,” she added.
“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. After a long and successful time with UNHCR, I appreciate her desire to shift her engagement and support her decision,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
“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. I look forward to our continued friendship,” he added.