The Oscar-winning Australian actress will be an official representative of the United Nations around the world.
Oscar-winning Australian actress Cate Blanchett has been appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. The announcement follows Blanchett’s recent trip to Jordan to observe the humanitarian crisis unfolding there as thousands of refugees flee Syria.
Blanchett joins the ranks of A-list celebrities on the UN’s International Ambassadors and Advocates list, which includes Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg and fellow Australian Nicole Kidman.
In a video statement released by the UN, Blanchett expressed her pride at being a UN Ambassador. “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,” she said, adding, “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?”
The Syrian refugee crisis has become one of the biggest humanitarian disasters since the Second World War. It is estimated that 4.8 million Syrians have fled the country into Europe and beyond, seeking asylum. Blanchett has been an activist working with the UN for over year to raise awareness about refugees, not only from Syria but also forcibly displaced, stateless communities throughout the world. Since early 2015, Blanchett has visited Lebanon to meet Syrian refugees, has campaigned for the UNHCR European refugee relief fund, and has attended the Women in the World Conference in New Delhi as a representative of the UN.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner, said of Blanchett’s appointment as an official Goodwill Ambassador: “This is a pivotal role in creating better public understanding and support for refugees, and never has there been a greater need to build these bridges. [Cate] has already demonstrated great commitment to the cause and we look forward to seeing her inspire many more people in her new role.”