As the number of refugees seeking aid and asylum grows worldwide, Angelina Jolie is leading the way on finding solutions in the Economist‘s annual forward-looking magazine The World in 2019.
“Some 68 million people are now displaced by violence and persecution—equal to a fifth of the population of America, nearly half that of Russia and more than the entire population of Britain,” the actress and UNHCR special envoy writes.
“We must reduce the number of displaced people worldwide by preventing and solving the conflicts that drive them from their homes. We must rally people and countries to act together based on common interests and universal aspirations for security, dignity and equality. This does not have to come at the expense of our safety and economic well-being at home but is an essential requirement when facing problems of international dimensions.”
Jolie calls on the public to do more to pressure leaders to make positive changes. “In democracies, we, as voters, should challenge our politicians to answer how their policies address the roots of the problem.”
Acknowledging the difficulty of the mission, Jolie adds, “This strategy will take vision and persistence and strength. Not the parody of strength involved in tough talk against refugees but the resolve, will, and diplomatic skill needed to negotiate peace settlements, stabilise insecure countries and uphold the rule of law.”
There is reason for hope, though, she writes. “We live in divisive times. However, history also shows our ability to unite, overcome a global crisis, and renew our sense of purpose and community with other nations. That is the greatest strength of an open society.”