Angelina Jolie DCMG is the Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
She began her work with UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, and in 2012 was appointed to the role of Special Envoy. She focuses on major crises resulting in mass population displacements and undertakes diplomatic advocacy on behalf of UNHCR. As Special Envoy she has carried out over 50 field missions, including 11 visits to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq since the start of the Syria conflict.
Angelina is co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), which she launched in May 2012 with the-then UK Foreign Secretary The Rt Hon William Hague MP. The campaign strives to end the use of rape as a weapon of war by addressing the culture of impunity that exists for crimes of sexual violence in conflict, tackling the stigma and increasing the number of perpetrators held to account. The campaign was inspired by Angelina’s directorial debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey, which brought to light the use of rape as a weapon of war in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
As part of their joint work on PSVI, Angelina and William Hague have travelled to the DRC, Rwanda, South Africa and Bosnia – Herzegovina to engage with the survivors and local NGOs and host governments. They also co-hosted the 2014 Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London. Angelina has addressed the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conferences in London in 2016 and in Vancouver in 2017. In June 2017 she visited the International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Kenya, where 7,000 peacekeepers are trained each year on preventing sexual violence in conflict.
In June 2014 Angelina was made an Honorary Dame Commander in the Order of St Michael and St George, for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign against sexual violence in conflict.
Angelina is an Academy Award® and three-time Golden Globe Award winner. Her most recent Directorial project, First They Killed My Father, tells the story of the Cambodian genocide through the eyes of a child.
Selected Articles and Speeches
- Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO, 31 January 2018
- 'No negotiated peace without human rights and dignity for the Syrian people', remarks delivered in Za’atari camp, Jordan, 28 January 2018.
- 'Why Nato must defend women's rights' (with J. Stoltenberg), The Guardian, 10 December 2017. Also available in German.
- Keynote address at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial, Vancouver, 15 November 2017. Also available in French and German.
- 'A Letter to You from Namibia', Harper's Bazaar, 11 October 2017.
- Sergio Vieira de Mello Memorial Lecture, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 15 March 2017.
- 'Refugee Policy Should Be Based on Facts, Not Fear', The New York Times, 2 February 2017
- Office of the Prosecutor's launch of the Policy on Children, International Criminal Court, The Hague, 16 November 2016. See also ICC Prosecutor launches Policy on Children.
- 'Conflict-related sexual violence is a preventable crime and should be a priority for the new UN Secretary-General' (with W. Hague), LSE Women, Peace and Security blog, 3 November 2016.
- World on the Move, BBC, London, 16 May 2016.
- Oral evidence, House of Lords Select Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict, London, 8 September 2015. Video recording.
- 'Don't blame refugees for seeking a better life' (with A. Helic), The Times, 7 September 2015.
- Open Briefing on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria, United Nations Security Council, New York, 24 April 2015.
- 'A New Level of Refugee Suffering', The New York Times, 27 January, 2015.
- Closing remarks, Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, London, 13 June, 2014.