UNITED NATIONS, April 24 (Xinhua) — Angelina Jolie Pitt, special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on Friday highlighted the need to help the Syrian refugees and provide them legal avenues to safety.
“It is sickening to see thousands of refugees drowning on the doorstep of the world’s wealthiest continent. No one risks the lives of their children in this way except out of the utter desperation,” said Jolie in a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.
“If we cannot end the conflict, we have an inescapable moral duty to help refugees and provide legal avenues to safety,” said Jolie.
“I urge the Security Council to visit Syrian refugees, to see firsthand their suffering and the impact it is having on the region. The refugees cannot come to the council, so please go to them,” she said.
On the issues of sexual violence in conflicts, Jolie said that the barbarism of inflicting systematic sexual violence demands a much greater response from the international community.
“We need to send a signal that we are serious about the accountability for these crimes,” she said.
The Syrian conflict began when nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad met with violent government crackdowns in 2011. Till now, it has been dragging on for over four years with no solution in sight.
“Our times will be defined not by the crises themselves, but by the ways we pull together as an international community to address them,” Jolie said.