At an event marking the launch of activities for World Refugee Day on June 20, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie appeared today alongside UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres to call on the world to recognise millions of victims of conflict around the world not as a burden but as a potential gift.
As an American, she said, “I know the strength that diversity has given my country — a country built by what some would now dismiss as asylum-seekers and economic migrants — and I believe we must persuade the world that refugees must not be simply viewed as a burden. They are the survivors. And they can bring those qualities to the service of their communities and the countries that shelter them.”
“The refugees I have met and spent time with have profoundly changed my life, “Jolie added. “Today, on World Refugee Day, I want to thank them for letting me into their lives.”
Jolie was speaking at an event at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., hosted by UNHCR and moderated by NBC television anchor Ann Curry. The event used VSee to provide a live two-way conversation between the Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad and the assembled audience in Washington.