Monday was World Refugee Day 2016, and it was revealed that a massive 65 million people have been displaced by conflict in the world. This is a totally frightening figure from any viewpoint, and Angelina Jolie Pitt met up with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the situation.
As Special Envoy to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Jolie Pitt has thoroughly investigated the situation with refugees in the world and has met with many of them. As a humanitarian, she is doing her utmost to try to change the situation.
Jolie Pitt met up with Kerry in Washington on Monday to call for an immediate solution to the problem of the tens of millions of people worldwide who are displaced and are refugees. A press conference was held Monday afternoon on the subject where Jolie Pitt spoke.
— Department of State (@StateDept) June 21, 2016
“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,” said Angelina.
Jolie Pitt went on to say, “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. To do that would be naive, irresponsible and dangerous.”
Angelina called on countries to come together and take a new approach to the problem, “one that does not focus solely on aid and resettlement, but on solution, stability and returns.”
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— UNHCR Washington (@UNHCRdc) June 21, 2016
After explaining that turning our backs to the crisis is both “naive and irresponsible,” Angelina went on to talk about the rising levels of intolerance and xenophobia in the world.
“Today, partly in response to this crisis, we are seeing rising intolerance and xenophobia. But strength lies in mastering and channeling our emotions so that we pursue policies that reduce, not inflame, threats to our security. We need leadership. We need solutions. So that is my ask and my focus today.”
Secretary of State Kerry brought up similar sentiments, saying, “We are living in a contentious time when some try to make a negative out of being a refugee, to somehow turn people who are refugees into threats.”
— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 21, 2016
The full speeches by Angelina Jolie Pitt and John Kerry can be read on the U.S. Department of State website along with a video of the speeches.
According to a video on the Reuters website, the subject of immigration and U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to accept 10,000 refugees from Syria are currently hot issues in the U.S. and are likely to factor strongly in the upcoming presidential election.
After Jolie Pitt met with Kerry, they both attended an interfaith Iftar reception in Sterling, Virginia, to mark World Refugee Day.
As reported by ABC News, Kerry went on to later praise Jolie Pitt for her dedication to the refugee crisis in the world, saying, “This is not a passing fancy for her at all.”
“It’s a lifetime commitment,” he added.
[Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Images]