Angelina Jolie Leaves Post as UN Envoy After 21 Years

Actress has expressed frustration with efforts to end sexual violence in wars
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 16, 2022 5:05 PM CST
Angelina Jolie Leaves Post as UN Envoy After 21 Years
Angelina Jolie addresses a UN meeting in New York in 2019.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Angelina Jolie and the United Nations' refugee agency are parting ways after more than two decades. The American actress and the agency announced she was "moving on" from her role as the agency's special envoy "to engage on a broader set of humanitarian and human rights issues" in a joint statement issued Friday. "I will continue to do everything in my power in the years to come to support refugees and other displaced people," Jolie was quoted as saying in the statement, adding that she felt it was time "to work differently" by directly engaging with refugees and local organizations, the AP reports.

Jolie started working with the UN refugee agency in 2001 and was appointed its special envoy in 2012. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi was quoted Friday as saying he appreciates Jolie's desire to engage in a different way. Her missions have included an unannounced trip to Ukraine in April to meet with people displaced by the Russian invasion. "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." Jolie has been involved in other advocacy efforts, per the AP, including recently pushing for the renewal of the US Violence Against Women Act.

In an opinion piece published in the Guardian last month, Jolie alluded to frustration with the lack of global progress in ending sexual violence in conflict. "We meet and discuss these horrors and agree that they should never be allowed to happen again," she wrote. "We promise to draw—and to hold—that line. But when it comes to hard choices about how to implement these promises, we run into the same problems time and again." Jolie criticized members of the UN Security Council for "abusing their veto power."

(Read more Angelina Jolie stories.)

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