Angelina Jolie uploaded a heartfelt statement on Instagram on Friday to share she was ‘stepping down’ from her role as a United Nations refugee agency envoy after 21 years in order to work more closely with those ‘directly affected.’
The actress, 47, penned a message to her followers to open up about her departure, adding that the, ‘UNHCR is full of amazing people.’
The star, who recently traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with politicians to discuss crime victim legislation, also explained that she was ‘dedicated’ to working with refugees ‘for the rest of my life.’
‘Stepping down’: Angelina Jolie, 47, explained in an Instagram post shared on Friday that she would be exiting her U.N. refugee envy role to work more closely with those ‘directly affected by conflict’
The actress uploaded a throwback photo of herself amidst her role as a refugee envoy for the U.N., along with a meaningful message.
‘After over 20 years, I am stepping down today from my work with the UN Refugee Agency,’ she announced. ‘I believe in many things the UN does, particularly the lives it saves through emergency relief.’
Angelina added that the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) has ‘amazing people’ involved who strive to make, ‘a difference to people’s lives every day.’
The star wholeheartedly expressed that, ‘Refugees are the people I admire most in the world and I am dedicated to working with them for the rest of my life.’
Heartfelt message: The actress expressed in a statement on Instagram that, ‘I believe in many things the UN does, particularly the lives it saves through emergency relief’; seen in 2021
Angelina then gave her reasoning for stepping down from her envoy role, explaining that she, ‘will be working now with organizations led by people most directly affected by conflict, that give the greatest voice to them.’
The United Nations refugee agency and the Oscar winner also released a joint statement on Friday expressing that the actress will still work, ‘to engage on a broader set of humanitarian and human rights issues.’
Jolie first started working with the U.N. refugee agency in 2001 and was appointed its special envoy in 2012 – she was among the most high-profile of the organization’s ambassadors.
The star ‘carried out more than 60 field missions to bear witness to stories of suffering as well as hope and resilience’, said the U.N, and had most recently traveled to Burkina Faso.
Reason for exit: The Oscar winner explained that she was stepping away from the role to work, ‘now with organizations led by people most directly affected by conflict’
Long-term role: Jolie first started working with the U.N. refugee agency in 2001 and was appointed its special envoy in 2012; seen with children in Ukraine in April
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo 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.’
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. She had written that, ‘when it comes to hard choices about how to implement these promises, we run into the same problems time and again.’
Jolie began visiting refugee camps in 2001, and was appointed as a UNHCR goodwill ambassador that same year. At the time, the then-high commissioner said he hoped the then-26-year-old actress could direct young people’s attention to the plight of refugees.
Peaceful parting: The United Nations refugee agency and the Hollywood star additionally released a joint statement on Friday to announce the news of her departure; seen in 2019 at the UN United Nations in New York
Other advocacies: Angelina recently traveled to Washington D.C. with her 17-year-old daughter, Zahara, to advocate for crime victim legislation
On Thursday, Angelina shared a post showing her involvement to advocate for crime victim legislation. She revealed that she had traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss the topic with politicians along with her 17-year-old daughter, Zahara.
The photo uploaded in the post shows the actress and her daughter conversing with the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, Patrick Leahy.
In the caption, the Girl, Interrupted star wrote that she was advocating to, ‘urge Congress to pass essential protections for abuse survivors and children in the end-of-year bill package.’
She then listed five main points that could be offered, including ‘ending the rape kit backlog,’ and giving, ‘crime survivors the right to their evidence and federal agency or police reports.’