Joint Statement by UNHCR and Angelina Jolie


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.

One of the most influential proponents of refugee rights, Ms. Jolie will continue to work to build a more equal, just and inclusive international system. At a time when the world is facing complex, multi-faceted, and interconnected crises, she plans to engage with a wider range of actors on a broader set of humanitarian issues as well as work more directly with local organizations. Her portfolio will continue to include refugees and issues of forced displacement.

UNHCR has worked with Ms. Jolie since 2001, and in 2012, she was appointed Special Envoy. In this critical role, she has used her powerful voice to build awareness and support for refugees and to call for urgent action and solutions for people forced to flee. Over the past 21 years, Ms. Jolie has worked tirelessly, carrying out more than 60 field missions to bear witness to stories of suffering as well as hope and resilience. Most recently, she travelled with UNHCR to Yemen and Burkina Faso to meet displaced people enduring two of the most underfunded and under-reported emergencies in the world.

“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. 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,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

Ms. Jolie said: “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. 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”.

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees