Angelina Jolie at UN speaks out for US engagement in the world


United Nations (United States) (AFP)

Describing herself as a American patriot, Angelina Jolie spoke out Friday in favor of US engagement in the world, in an address at the United Nations that contrasted with President Donald Trump's views.

The A-List actress and UN special envoy for refugees delivered the keynote address at a conference to raise support for UN peacekeeping missions at a time when the United States is seeking major budget cuts to the blue helmet operations.

"I'm a patriot. I love my country and I want to see it thrive," Jolie told the gathering at the General Assembly.

"I also believe in an America that is part of an international community."

"Countries working together on equal footing is how we reduce the risk of conflict. It is how we avoid the need to send men and women of our militaries to fight and sacrifice overseas."

The United Nations was set up to find ways of resolving differences peacefully and "it is all in our interest for the UN to be made effective, brought closer to the lives of citizens, and not ever misused," she added.

Jolie's praise for the United Nations stood in contrast with the disdain US President Donald Trump's administration has shown the world body.

Trump has cut US funding to the United Nations and his national security adviser John Bolton, a former UN ambassador, once remarked that if the UN's 38-floor building "lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Jolie, who has traveled to refugee camps worldwide, said that peacekeeping missions "often represent the last and only hope for millions of people facing daily threats to their safety and their basic rights."

The award-winning actress made an appeal for increasing the number of women peacekeepers in UN missions.