Angelina Jolie will resign from her position as special envoy for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) but will continue her humanitarian work, the United Nations said on Friday, December 16.
Jolie, who has completed over sixty field postings throughout her 21-year tenure with UNHCR, expressed a desire to continue working with refugees outside of the global organization.
“I will continue to do all in my power to help refugees and other displaced people in the years to come,” Jolie said in a statement announcing her resignation.
“After twenty years working within the United Nations system, I believe it is time for me to work differently, connecting directly with refugees and local groups and supporting their advocacy for solutions,” she added.
Since 2012, Jolie has served as UNHCR special envoy.
This year, she traveled to Yemen and Ukraine to speak with refugees.
Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, commended her for her work, dedication, and impact on refugees and individuals forced to leave.
Grandi stated, “After a long and successful tenure with UNHCR, I respect her wish to alter her focus and support her choice.”
“I know that the refugee cause will remain dear to her heart, and I am certain that she will bring the same zeal and focus to a broader humanitarian portfolio.”
According to the UNHCR, never before have so many people been forcibly displaced from their homes by violence, war, and persecution. It is estimated that more than 100 million people are displaced around the world at now.