Angelina Jolie appointed as UNHCR Special Envoy

Geneva: Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has been appointed as Special Envoy of the UN refugee agency.

Angelina, who was the UNHCR`s Goodwill Ambassador, has been promoted as the Special Envoy of High Commissioner Antonio Guterres.

It is the first time that the UN refugee agency has named a special envoy, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said.

Such posts are usually reserved for career diplomats or retired politicians.

"Her work does go substantially beyond what we would typically see as being the normal role of a goodwill ambassador," Edwards told reporters here.

"I don`t think you need a rocket scientist to see the benefits that she is bringing in terms of the attention that she is getting for the plight of the world`s displaced," he added.

In her new role, Jolie is expected to "focus on large-scale crises resulting in the mass displacement of people, to undertake advocacy and represent UNHCR and Guterres at the diplomatic level, engaging with relevant interlocutors on global displacement issues," UNHCR said in a statement.

It added that Guterres is grateful to Jolie for accepting this role at a critical time in global displacement and that her new status as Special Envoy is effective immediately.

During a decade of service as UNHCR`s Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie has conducted more than 40 field visits around the world, "becoming an expert on the phenomenon of forced displacement and a tireless advocate on their behalf.

Jolie was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador at UNHCR headquarters here on August 27, 2001.

Last year, the 35-year-old actress had skipped Oscars and visited Afghanistan as part of her work as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for refugees.

She met with those struggling to survive and adjusting after years in exile.

In addition to her field missions, Jolie uses her public profile to promote humanitarian causes through the mass media.


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