UN special envoy for refugees and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie criticize the global response to the global refugee crisis and warned that none of us are immune to becoming refugees”
Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood actress and the UN’s special envoy for refugees, calls for generosity towards refugees, reminding that “none of us are immune to becoming refugees.”
Speaking at the World on the Move migration event sponsored by the BBC in London, Jolie said she is disheartened by the U.S. response to the global refugee crisis.
Around 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes because of wars, conflict or persecution, according to the United Nations. On a global scale, that means one in 122 is displaced, the largest number since the end of World War II. On average, Jolie said, a person will be displaced for nearly 20 years.
“We have faced the worst in humanity on a global scale and we have fought back from that,” she said. “If we learn anything from the past this is what should rally us together. … Whether we succeed will define this century, … The alternative is chaos and further displacement and a world with no order or law.”
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said all nations needed to pull together to deal with the world’s displaced people, establishing a coordinated and orderly system for refugees and migrants.
“If your neighbor’s house is on fire you are not safe if you lock your doors. Isolationism is not strength,” Jolie said at a migration event. “Strength lies in being unafraid. I believe this is again that once-in-a-generation moment when nations have to pull together.”
“How we respond will determine whether we create a more stable world, or face decades of far greater instability.”
The US actress said she was particularly dismayed with Washington’s response. “I have been very, very disheartened by my own country’s response to the situation,” said Jolie. She went on to address Republican US presidential contender Donald Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslims entering the country.
“To me, America is built on people from around the world coming together for freedoms, and especially freedom of religion. It is hard to hear that this is coming from someone who’s pressing to be an American president.”
Pitt also encouraged the world community to focus more on the roots of the refugee crisis, saying that “decades of double-standards” and “broken promises” were fundamental parts of how this crisis became a reality.
“We in the West are neither at the center of the refugee crisis, nor the ones making the greatest sacrifice,” she said, reminding that the majority of the world’s refugees live in Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, and Jordan.
“Unless we address the root causes of the crisis, we will not see a slowing in the numbers of refugees crossing borders, and in fact, quite the opposite: countries around the world will be asked to do more and more” she argued.
Jolie urged that every country “must do its fair share and no country can abdicate its responsibility.”