GENEVA (UNHCR) – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today announced the appointment of Academy Award winning actor Cate Blanchett as a global Goodwill Ambassador.
The announcement comes as Blanchett returns from a mission to Jordan to witness the ongoing humanitarian operation for people displaced by the conflict in Syria. She met Syrian refugee families to hear first-hand about the perilous journeys they had undertaken and the daily challenges they face.
“I am deeply proud to take on this role”, said Blanchett. “There has never been a more crucial time to stand with refugees and show solidarity. We are living through an unprecedented crisis, and there must be shared responsibility worldwide. It feels like we’re at a fork in the road, do we go down the compassionate path or do we go down the path of intolerance? As a mother, I want my children to go down the compassionate path. There’s much more opportunity, there’s much more optimism and there is a solution down that path.”
Prior to her appointment, Blanchett had been working closely with UNHCR for over a year to raise awareness about the forcibly displaced. In 2015, she travelled to Lebanon to meet Syrian refugees and to hear about the experiences of stateless people as part of her support for UNHCR’s #IBelong Campaign. She has also supported World Refugee Day, UNHCR’s appeal for the Europe refugee crisis, and attended the Women in the World Conference in New Delhi to represent UNHCR and moderate a high level panel discussion on the global refugee crisis.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said: “I am very pleased that Cate Blanchett is joining us. Goodwill Ambassadors play a pivotal role in creating better public understanding and support for refugees, and never has there been a greater need to build these bridges. She has already demonstrated great commitment to the cause and we look forward to seeing her inspire many more people in her new role.”
Blanchett recently visited Jordan meeting Syrian refugee families and hearing about their perilous journeys of escape from conflict, and the daily challenges they now face.