Angelina Jolie Honored World Refugee Day with a Speech in Burkina Faso

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Following her N.Y.C. trip, Angelina Jolie made a special visit to Burkina Faso as part of her role as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

According to Reuters, Jolie spent Sunday visiting a refugee camp in Burkina Faso housing refugees fleeing jihadist violence in Mali. In a speech, she marked World Refugee Day, which is held every year on June 20.

"I am here to show my solidarity with the Burkinabe people, who continue to welcome their displaced brothers and sisters despite terrible attacks and challenges; sharing what little they have, at a time when other countries with far more resources have closed their borders and their minds to refugees," she said.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

"Thank you for allowing me to be here. I am so honored and grateful to be among you, and to bow my head in respect for your courage and strength," she added.

Jolie also said that she has marked World Refugee Day each year for the past 20 years, but has "never been as worried about the state of displacement globally as I am today." She pointed to the 82 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced, numbers which have doubled within the past decade, and that continue to rise.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

"We have to wake up to the track we are on globally, with so many conflicts raging and the very real possibility that climate change will force tens if not hundreds of millions of people to have to leave their homes in the future, with no possibility of return," she said. "It is not that we are at a breaking point - this is broken."

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Jolie was a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR from 2001-2012 before being named a Special Envoy in 2012. In 2005, she published her journals chronicling her impressions and reflections during her field missions.

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