Belfast Telegraph

Angelina Jolie named refugee envoy

Angelina Jolie has been promoted to the role of special envoy by the United Nations refugee agency.

The Hollywood star, who has just got engaged to partner Brad Pitt, has been elevated from being a goodwill ambassador to a role that will see her represent the organisation at the diplomatic level to governments and diplomats.

It is the first time the U. refugee agency has named a special envoy, said its spokesman Adrian Edwards. Elsewhere in the global body 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 in Geneva. "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."

Angelina has jetted the world on behalf of the organisation over the past ten years, making high-profile visits to refugee camps in Iraq, Haiti and Pakistan, among other places.

Apart from her time, the Salt actress has also given large personal donations to the organisation, which relies entirely on voluntary contributions from governments, companies and individuals.

"She has donated substantially to refugees," said Edwards, noting that the actress/director won't receive any money for her role. "There is to my knowledge absolutely no connection between any donation of money and this role."

The star's new position will focus on the complex crises that result in the mass displacement of people, such as in Afghanistan and Somalia. In addition, on special occasions she will represent the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.

"That can mean conveying messages to governments. It can mean conveying messages to other people and partners that we work with," said Edwards.

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