Angelina Jolie speaks before the U.N. (AP)
Angelina Jolie has played everything from a scantily-clad tomb raider to a CIA-employed housewife to an animated tigress, but there has been no role she's taken more seriously than her latest: special envoy for refugees.
Speaking before the Security Council at the United Nations on Monday, the actress, whose film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" depicted the sexual violence during the Bosnian War, urged the world's nations to make ending rape in war a top priority.
"Hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women, children and men have been raped in conflicts in our lifetimes," she explained. "Let us be clear what we are speaking of: Young girls raped and impregnated before their bodies are able to carry a child, causing fistula. Boys held at gunpoint and forced to sexually assault their mothers and sisters. Women raped with bottles, wood branches, and knives to cause as much damage as possible. Toddlers and even babies dragged from their homes and violated."
Despite these harrowing images, Jolie seemed to think there was still hope.
"You set the bar," she explained to the U.N.'s most powerful body. "If the … council sets rape and sexual violence in conflict as a priority, it will become one and progress will be made. If you do not, this horror will continue."
And Jolie wasn't alone in her stance. British Foreign Secretary William Hague backed the iconic actress and goodwill ambassador, explaining, "The time has come for the world to take a strong and determined stand to make clear that the systematic use of rape as a weapon is not acceptable in the modern world and our objective is to change the entire global attitude to these issues."
Jolie closed with a final plea: "Meet your commitments, debate this issue in your parliaments, mobilize people in your countries, and build it into all your foreign policy efforts. Together, you can turn the tide of global opinion, shatter impunity, and finally put an end to this abhorrence."
Only time will tell whether her efforts prove effective, but one thing is certain — if she can't sway these world leaders in the right direction, we're pretty sure no one can.
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