Jolie extends term as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
GENEVA, Oct 15 (UNHCR) - Angelina Jolie has signed on for another two years as Goodwill Ambassador for the UN refugee agency, marking her new term with a series of events to raise funds for and awareness of refugees around the world.
On Monday, Jolie agreed to extend her tenure as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. First appointed in August 2001, she has travelled with the agency to Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Balkans and the North Caucasus, where she met refugees and field workers. In addition to her generous contributions to refugee programmes, she has also drawn public attention to refugee issues through the media and her advocacy work worldwide.
"I'm delighted Angelina Jolie has decided to spend more time with UNHCR," said High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers. "She has done so much to bring visibility and public awareness to refugees over the last two years."
The Goodwill Ambassador's new term is already packed with activities ranging from fund-raising movie premieres to awareness-raising writings from the field.
Starting this month, funds raised from exclusive worldwide previews of her new movie, "Beyond Borders", will go towards UNHCR's refugee programmes. Already, donations related to these events have started streaming in to the agency, with more than $100,000 raised in ticket sales so far for the movie's world premiere in New York.
"Beyond Borders", a love story set against the backdrop of various humanitarian crises over the years, stars the Oscar-winning Jolie and British actor Clive Owen. It was produced and distributed by Mandalay Pictures and Paramount Pictures, which are working closely with UNHCR to benefit refugees.
Jolie and her co-stars will attend the movie's world premiere in New York on October 20. The event will be held at the Zeigfield Theatre, with guests including UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers, and public figures in politics and entertainment.
Awareness-raising preview events include a movie screening, dinner and panel discussion in Washington D.C. organised by UNHCR, the Brookings Institute and Refugees International on October 15. Senators Ted Kennedy and William Frist will also host an advance screening and reception in the capital's Union Station on October 16 with the participation of the Bi-partisan Refugee Caucus.
The Goodwill Ambassador will also attend a special preview of "Beyond Borders" in Madrid on October 15, with a guest list ranging from prominent personalities to representatives from the government and non-governmental organisations.
Similar events have been planned in London and Tokyo later in the year. The movie will also be launched in Australia, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany and the Nordic countries early next year.
On October 22, Jolie will be in New York to receive the first Sergio Vieira de Mello UNCA Citizen of the World Award presented by the UN Correspondents Association. This award is in recognition of her efforts "to bring public attention to the plight of refugees across the globe, so that the world community will take action to help them."
In addition to her high-profile work for the refugee cause, the Goodwill Ambassador has also offered private thoughts on refugee situations in personal journals of her field trips with UNHCR. She recently released online journals on Kosovo and Sri Lanka, and will launch her book, "Notes from My Travels: Visits with Refugees in Africa, Cambodia, Pakistan and Ecuador", on October 28. All her proceeds from the sales of the book, published by Simon and Schuster, will be donated to the UN refugee agency.