AceShowbiz - Ben Stiller has landed a new role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The Meet the Parents star has been working with UNHCR officials since 2016, but he has since undertaken his first mission in his new position, travelling to Guatemala to meet people who have been forced to flee their homes due to increased gang violence and organised crime in the northern parts of Central America, and he is proud to be doing more to raise awareness about their plight.
"I am enormously honoured and proud to take on this role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency," he shares in a statement.
"UNHCR is an organisation that is working tirelessly all over the world helping men, women and children fleeing war, terror and persecution. Here in Guatemala, the families, including children, that I met experienced fear and violence back home that is beyond imagination. They are vulnerable and have suffered immensely. They need help. UNHCR is on the ground here with its partners providing them with support, protection and shelter."
"With over 68 million displaced people around the world today, there has never been a more compelling reason or greater urgency to show solidarity and support for refugees," the 52-year-old adds. "I for one will do what I can as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, to advocate for refugees and encourage others to join me."
The actor's support has been welcomed by Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who declares, "Ben will be a great Goodwill Ambassador. I have witnessed personally his commitment to the world's refugees and his extraordinary capacity to talk about the complicated issue of displacement in a manner that is clear, passionate and convincing. And this is precisely the role of Goodwill Ambassadors: to raise awareness, generate support and give a voice to those who have been forced to leave their homes. I am looking forward to working with him."
Ben has also taken to Twitter to joke about scoring the new gig.
"I'm not exactly sure what my credentials are as a Goodwill Ambassador, or who approved it, but somehow I got through and I'm honored to be advocating for the millions fleeing violence and persecution all over the world," he tweets, playfully adding the hashtag, "#DoIHaveDiplomaticImmunity".
I’m not exactly sure what my credentials are as a Goodwill Ambassador, or who approved it, but somehow I got through and I’m honored to be advocating for the millions fleeing violence and persecution all over the world. #WithRefugees#DoIHaveDiplomaticImmunityhttps://t.co/3TAFlfC5Q9— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) 2 July 2018
He joins the likes of fellow actors and activists Cate Blanchett, Kristin Davis, and David Morrissey as Goodwill Ambassadors for the UNHCR, while Angelina Jolie expanded her work for the organisation in 2012, when she was made a Special Envoy to represent the U.N. at the diplomatic level.