Jolie hints at move to pol­i­tics

Ac­tress and UN spe­cial en­voy says she gets a lot done with­out a ti­tle

Weekend Witness - - News -

LON­DON — An­gelina Jolie (pic­tured) hinted yes­ter­day she could one day en­ter pol­i­tics, as she urged global lead­ers to do more to help refugees and women in con­flict.

Asked whether she was mov­ing to­wards a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, the Hol­ly­wood star, an en­voy for the UN refugee agency who has also cam­paigned on sex­ual vi­o­lence against women, said she would “go where I’m needed”.

“If you asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve laughed,” she said in an in­ter­view with Bri­tish broad­caster the BBC.

“I don’t know if I’m fit for pol­i­tics, but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skele­ton left in my closet.”

Jolie said her work with the United Na­tions and other or­gan­i­sa­tions en­abled her to “get a lot done with­out a ti­tle”, but did not rule out a fu­ture switch.

“I hon­estly will do what­ever I think can re­ally make change and right now, I am able to work with a UN agency ... to do a lot of work di­rectly with the peo­ple in need,” she said.

“I’m also able to work with gov­ern­ments and I’m also able to work with mil­i­taries. And so I sit in a very in­ter­est­ing place of be­ing able to get a lot done with­out a ti­tle and with­out it be­ing about my­self or my poli­cies. So for now I’ll sit quiet.” The Os­car-win­ning ac­tress has in re­cent years vis­ited refugee camps to high­light the plight of those up­rooted by war, and broad­ened her in­ter­na­tional

ef- forts to pro­tect women, work­ing with Nato and gov­ern­ments to help stop the use of rape as a weapon of war.

With 68,5 mil­lion peo­ple up­rooted glob­ally, she said more needed to be done to sup­port refugees and host com­mu­ni­ties in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

“The fo­cus should be what is hap­pen­ing to these peo­ple? Why is this hap­pen­ing? How do we have this many peo­ple up­rooted and what are the causes?” Jolie said.

UN mem­bers ear­lier this month adopted a deal aimed at im­prov­ing the way the world copes with ris­ing mi­gra­tion.

The non-bind­ing pact, meant to foster co-op­er­a­tion on mi­gra­tion, was agreed in July by all 193 UN mem­bers ex­cept the United States, but only 164 for­mally signed it at the meet­ing.

“This should not be seen as a headache for peo­ple. This is how we need our lead­ers to be think­ing about bal­anc­ing our world,” she added.

Jolie, a mother of six who last year re­leased her film First They Killed My Fa­ther about Cam­bo­dia’s Kh­mer Rouge regime, launched the Pre­vent­ing Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Ini­tia­tive in 2012 with Bri­tain’s for­mer for­eign min­is­ter Wil­liam Hague.

Nato agreed in Jan­uary to help re­port on sex­ual vi­o­lence in war to help bring per­pe­tra­tors to jus­tice and chal­lenge the idea that rape is an un­avoid­able as­pect of con­flict.

But there have been ques­tions over the ef­fec­tive­ness of the ini­tia­tive, es­pe­cially in light of the mass rape of Ro­hingya women in Myan­mar dur­ing a crack­down that forced 720 000 refugees to flee to Bangladesh.

In­ter­viewed on BBC Ra­dio’s To­day pro­gramme, which she guest edited, Jolie said the cam­paign had made a dif­fer­ence.

“I have met vic­tims who fi­nally got repa­ra­tions when they didn’t have them be­fore,” she said.

“When there are prose­cu­tions and when there is ac­count­abil­ity, we will see a real change.”

— Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion. Blue light il­lu­mi­nates the night sky af­ter an elec­tri­cal trans­former ex­plo­sion in the Queens bor­ough in New York on Thurs­day night. PHOTO: ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IM­AGES

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