Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Angelina Jolie Pitt made an appearance at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., on Monday, speaking out about the global refugee crisis on World Refugee Day.

Jolie Pitt, who serves as the Special Envoy for the United Nations' High Commissioner on Refugees, met with Secretary of State John Kerry prior to attending an interfaith lftar reception in Sterling, Virginia.

Kerry praised Jolie Pitt for her "personal leadership" and "commitment to the issue" – which is now at an all-time historical high of 65 million refugees.

"She's been working at this for years," Kerry, 72, said. "This is not a passing fancy for her at all; it is a lifetime commitment."

The 41-year-old Oscar winner explained that the current refugee problem is a worldwide threat, adding that to ignore it would be "naive, irresponsible and dangerous."

"If I ask people for anything on this day, it is to take a moment and to truly grasp what a refugee crisis of today's magnitude means for peace and security of the world," Jolie Pitt said. "I ask people to understand that with 65 million people displaced by conflict, we are facing a world of wars we cannot ignore or turn our backs on."

 She stressed that her focus was to come up with new approaches to solving the crisis.

"We face a very clear choice: to continue as we are and see displacement and insecurity grow, or to come together with other nations and find a new approach, one that does not focus solely on aid and resettlement but on solution, stability and returns," Jolie Pitt explained.

"Strength lies in mastering and channeling our emotions so that we pursue policies that reduce – not inflame – threats to our security," she highlighted. "We need leadership. We need solutions."

 Both Jolie Pitt and John Kerry addressed what Jolie Pitt called the "rising intolerance and xenophobia" growing out of the conflict – a subtle dig at presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has threatened to build a wall to keep immigrants and refugees out of the United States.

"We're living in a contentious time when some try to make a negative out of being a refugee or somehow turn people who are refugees into threats," Kerry explained. "They are American; they're as American as anybody; and they have a story to tell about how America keeps faith with people's dreams and hopes and aspirations."

Jolie Pitt has worked with the United Nations since 2001, and has carried out over 50 missions for them.

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