Movie star Cate takes up the cause of refugees
Australian actress Cate Blanchett has become a global goodwill ambassador for UNHCR.
The two-time Oscar winner has proudly taken on the position in the United Nations refugee agency.
After already doing work within the organisation Blanchett accepted the role and followed in the footsteps of Oscar-winning actress, Angelina Jolie who had the same role in 2012.
“I am deeply proud to take on this role,” Blanchett said in a statement. “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,” Blanchett said.
“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,” said the mother of four.”
Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, said that Blanchett “has already demonstrated great commitment to the cause”.
Blanchett has been working closely with UNHCR for over a year to raise international awareness about refugees.
She recently returned from a visit to Jordan where she personally met with Syrian refugee families and listened to their treacherous journey to escape war in their home.
Early last year the Australian actress also travelled to Lebanon with her husband to “further understand the Syrian crisis”, according to UNHCR spokesman Greg Mills.
After her visit, Blanchett released a video calling for support for refugees fleeing to Europe to escape the armed conflict in Syria.
“I’m supporting the UNHCR’s appeal for the refugee crisis in Europe,” Blanchett said.
In the video she explains how she met a Syrian woman who was an architect and was forced to flee Syria with her children.
“As a mother I can only imagine the difficulty and distress of making such a decision.”
Blanchett urged viewers to support the work of UNHCR.
“I have seen the UNHCR’s work firsthand and I know that their work makes a difference,” Blanchett said.
The actress has long used her celebrity status to further noble causes through both donations and media coverage.
In 2006, Blanchett joined former US Vice-President Al Gore’s Climate Project and a year later became the ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation.
At the start of 2011 Blanchett lent her support for a carbon tax campaign that led her to be labelled ‘Carbon Cate’, for which she received some criticism from conservatives.
In recognition of her support for environmental issues she was made an honorary life member of the Australian Conservation Foundation in 2012.
AMES Australia Staff Writer