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Monday, 27 August, 2001, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Jolie gets UN refugee role
Angelina Jolie in Pakistan
Jolie visited Afghan refugees in Pakistan
Tomb Raider actress Angelina Jolie has been named a goodwill ambassador by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Angelina Jolie and Ruud Lubbers
UNHCR commissioner Ruud Lubbers praised her "compassion"
Jolie, who returned from a visit to Pakistan on Sunday, was emotional as she described her meeting with Afghan refugees there.

"It's still very hard to talk about it," she said after the Geneva ceremony in which she was formally appointed UNHCR ambassador.

"It is the worst situation I think, because there is no end in sight for the needs of these people."

High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers said he believed Jolie would be able to bring the issue of refugees to the attention of young people.

"We look after 22 million people, and that is hardly known by young people," he said.

Angelina Jolie films
Hackers (1995)
Playing God (1997)
Gia (1998)
Pushing Tin (1999)
The Bone Collector (1999)
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Tomb Raider (2001)

"She can show her personal commitment as a young person to convince the younger generation that something has to be done here."

The 26-year-old actress has been paying discreet visits to a number of countries on behalf of the UNHCR, including one to Cambodia where scenes from Tomb Raider were shot.

She has released diaries she kept during visits to Sierra Leone and Tanzania on the internet to publicise the work of the UNHCR.

Jolie says she plans to address the US congress on issues relating to refugees, but also hopes to get her message across to ordinary American citizens about the United Nations.

Angelina Jolie
Jolie was the number one choice to star in Tomb Raider
"People need to understand that all of them, if they had a chance, would like to go home," she said.

"They are saving their lives and trying to survive and keep their families alive."

Jolie is best known for her Oscar-winning role as the unhinged Lisa in Girl, Interrupted and for parts as a car thief in Gone in 60 Seconds and a policewoman hunting a serial killer in The Bone Collector.

Other notable roles include a tomboy computer crook in Hackers in 1995.

She is married to actor Billy Bob Thornton.

Jolie takes over the goodwill ambassador role from US opera singer Barbara Hendricks, who remains an honorary ambassador.

Former ambassadors have included actress Sophia Loren and actor Richard Burton.

The BBC's Susannah Price, in Islamabad
interviews Angelina Jolie
See also:

07 Apr 00 | Entertainment
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30 Jul 01 | Film
Jolie's Cambodian mission
11 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Cambodia votes to try Khmer Rouge
18 Jun 01 | Film
Tomb Raider guns to the top
28 Jun 01 | New Media
Q&A: The man who made Lara
29 Jun 01 | Film
Violent Lara Croft scenes cut
12 Jun 01 | Film
Big screen Lara Croft unveiled
06 Jul 01 | Reviews
Luscious Lara loses plot
27 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Cambodia
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