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Cate Blanchett is UN goodwill ambassador

Associated Press Associated Press 2/05/2016

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett says she's proud to have been named a global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugee agency.

Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, said the Australian actress "has already demonstrated great commitment to the cause," having just returned from Jordan where she met Syrian refugee families and heard of their perilous journeys to escape the war.

"I am deeply proud to take on this role," Blanchett said in a statement on Monday.

"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."

Today, there are 60 million refugees and people who are displaced within their own countries - the largest number since World War II.

"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.

UNHCR said Blanchett has been working closely with UNHCR for over a year to raise awareness about the forcibly displaced.

"Goodwill ambassadors play a pivotal role in creating better public understanding and support for refugees, and never has there been a greater need to build these bridges," Grandi said.

"We look forward to seeing her inspire many more people in her new role."

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