Angelina Jolie Applauds Outgoing British Foreign Minister's New Role
LONDON — The U.K. government’s cabinet reshuffle might not normally be exciting enough to warrant a response from Hollywood, but the news that British Foreign Secretary William Hague is moving to a new position has been met with applause by Angelina Jolie.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Hague would be leaving his post as head of Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and had been appointed a special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict.
“I’m delighted that William Hague has been appointed the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and to see the U.K.’s continuing leadership on this issue,” Jolie said in a statement.
“William and I are now very much focused on the next stage of our campaign. We will be asking countries to live up to the promises they made at the London Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, and working alongside them in that effort,” she added.
U.N. special envoy Jolie and Hague have been working together on the issue of sexual violence in war zones for the past two years, after the politician saw Jolie’s 2011 Golden Globe-nominated directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey. Since then, the pair have traveled to a number of countries to meet victims of rape. In 2013, they visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where UNICEF estimates the ongoing conflict sees an average of 36 women and girls raped daily. This spring, they went to Bosnia and Herzegovina to speak with survivors of rape from the Bosnian war.
Last year, Hague and Jolie, alongside the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, unveiled a G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, containing pledges to end impunity and outlining how to investigate and prosecute rape. So far a reported 150 countries have signed the declaration.
Last week, the first trailer from Jolie’s second feature as director was unveiled. Legendary Pictures’ Unbroken, based on the nonfiction book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand and adapted by the Coen Brothers, follows the story of U.S. Air Force captain Louis Zamperini, who was shot down from his plane over the Pacific in 1943.
Following 47 days adrift at sea, Zamperini and his fellow survivor reached the Marshall Islands but were immediately captured by the Japanese and subsequently spent two years in a prisoner-of-war camp.
Zamperini died two weeks ago, on July 2, at age 97. Unbroken is due out this December.