Burma’s house speaker Shwe Mann took some time out on Wednesday to welcome UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie Pitt to parliament.
According to a press release issued by the British embassy in Rangoon, Jolie Pitt is visiting Burma ‘to learn more about the situation in the country and encourage efforts to build a peaceful and inclusive future for all its people.
“The four-day visit will encompass both challenges arising from the legacy of conflict, and issues that will help determine the future of the country.
“Angelina Jolie Pitt will carry out engagements in her capacity as Co-Founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, and as UNHCR Special Envoy will carry out field visits to displaced people in Burma’s conflict-affected states. She will meet local people who are working on human rights and inter-faith relations, and groups carrying out projects to promote women’s rights, voter education and participation ahead of the forthcoming elections. She will also meet the President and members of the government.”
Joile said, “I am looking forward to meeting with many people including women’s groups, civil society, displaced people and youth, to learn firsthand from them about their concerns and hopes for the future of their country. With elections on the horizon in November it is an important moment for people to exercise their democratic rights and help to address the fundamental issues critical to a peaceful future.”
She arrived in Burma from Cambodia, where she was visiting health, education and conservation projects funded by the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation since 2003, and beginning preparations to direct the film First They Killed My Father based on a child’s experience of the years of turmoil in the country.
This is her first visit to the country. Last year, she visited Karenni refugees at the Thai-Burmese border in her capacity as a special envoy for UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
According to the UNHCR website: “Jolie Pitt previously represented UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador, and in this role she conducted more than 40 field visits around the world, becoming well-versed in the phenomenon of forced displacement and a tireless advocate on their behalf.”
Married to fellow US actor Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie is known for her roles in blockbuster Hollywood movies such as Girl, Interrupted, Gone in 60 Seconds and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.