Angelina Jolie made a star turn at the State Department when the actress shared the podium with Secretary of State John Kerry and urged finding a solution to the refugee crisis.
Jolie, who is the Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, joined Kerry for an interfaith Iftar reception to mark World Refugee Day on Monday in Sterling, Virginia.
Kerry introduced the mom of six and wife of Brad Pitt by remarking how dedicated she has been to the cause of refugees, who now number 65 million, the highest at any time in history.
Angelina Jolie, who has worked with the United Nations for years on the refugee crisis, spoke at the State Department on World Refugee Day.
Kerry noted that the refugee crisis is worse than at any time in history, with 65 million people displaced from their countries and homes.
'I’m very, very grateful to Angelina for her personal leadership, for her commitment to this issue. She’s been working at this for years. This is not a passing fancy for her at all; it is a lifetime commitment,' he said.
Jolie said that today's enormous refugee problem is a threat to worldwide peace and stability.
'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,' she said. 'We face a very clear choice: to continue as we are and see displacement and insecurity grow, or to come together with other nations and find a new approach, one that does not focus solely on aid and resettlement but on solution, stability, and returns.'
Jolie said, '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.'
Kerry agreed, saying, 'We’re living in a contentious time when some try to make a negative out of being a refugee or somehow turn people who are refugees into threats.'
He added that refugees who come to the country are 'as American as anybody; and they have a story to tell about how America keeps faith with people’s dreams and hopes and aspirations.'