Geneva – On Friday, the United Nations envoy on refugee issues, Angelina Jolie, briefed the U.N. Security Council on the Syrian refugee crisis.
More than four million civilians have escaped war-torn Syria over the past four years and fled into neighbouring countries, which warn they are dangerously overstretched.
“We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world’s inability to protect and defend the innocent,” Jolie said.
“We are standing by in Syria,” she said, adding that the council’s powers lie unused because its members cannot agree on how to address the conflict.
Jolie has made 11 visits to Syrian refugee camps in the region since the outbreak of the crisis in 2011.
She emphasized the importance of taking action to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
“The U.N. Security Council must now work as one,” said Jolie, adding she would like to see the foreign minister of each of the 15 council members come to the table to negotiate a political solution for Syria.
She also urged council members to visit Syrian refugees and see the crisis for themselves.
Moreover, Jolie spoke briefly about the rising migrant crisis on the Mediterranean, where more than 1,300 migrants fleeing Syria and other places have drowned at sea over the past three weeks.
“It is sickening to see thousands of refugees drowning on the doorstep of the world’s wealthiest continent,” she said. “No one risks the lives of their children in this way except out of utter desperation.”
Reporting by: Lorin Silo
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