The Hollywood actress, speaking at the United Nations in
Geneva, called for a renewed commitment to the "imperfect" world
body and to diplomacy to settle conflicts.
"If governments and leaders are not keeping that flame of
internationalism alive today, then we as citizens must," Jolie
said in the annual Sergio Vieira de Mello lecture honoring the
veteran U.N. aid worker killed in a Baghdad bombing in 2003.
"We see a rising tide of nationalism, masquerading as
patriotism, and the re-emergence of policies encouraging fear
and hatred of others," she warned.
Jolie did not refer directly to U.S. President Donald Trump
whose administration is reviewing its funding of the United
Nations and its participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council.
"A lot of the fear we observe today of refugees, of foreigners,
is produced by ignorance, often fuelling politicians as well,"
she said in response to a question.
"We have to recognize the damage we do when we undermine the
U.N. or use it selectively -- or not at all -- or when we rely
on aid to do the job of diplomacy, or give the U.N. impossible
tasks and then underfund it."
Not a single humanitarian appeal to donor governments worldwide
has received even half the amount needed, she said. Operations
in four countries where 20 million people are on the brink of
death from starvation -- Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria
-- are severely underfunded.
Jolie, who described herself as "a proud American" and "an
internationalist", has worked since 2001 for the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), visiting uprooted civilians
from Iraq to Cambodia and Kenya.
(This version of the story fixes a typo in paragraph 7)
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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