The actress, who has been an advocate for refugee and human rights causes for many years, was thrilled to announce her partnership with the agency.
“I am deeply proud to take on this role,” Blanchett said in a statement released by UNHCR.
She stressed that her decision to undertake the role was a necessity at a time where a record number of people world wide have been displaced from their homes: “there has never been a more crucial time to stand with refugees and show solidarity”.
“We are living through an unprecedented crisis, and there must be shared responsibility worldwide,” she added.
Solidarity is now more important than ever as growing tensions rise internationally and the question of resettlement is leading to public xenophobia.
“It feels like we’re at a fork in the road, do we go down the compassionate path or do we go down the path of intolerance?
“As a mother, I want my children to go down the compassionate path. There’s much more opportunity, there’s much more optimism and there is a solution down that path.”
Blanchett is no stranger to activism with the Refugee agency, having worked closely with UNHCR for over a year to raise awareness about the forcibly displaced. In 2015 she was a spokesperson for UNHCR’s #IBelongCampaign and supported World Refugee Day. The actress also travelled to Jordan last year to see the horrific results of Syria’s brutal five-year conflict first hand.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said: “I am very pleased that Cate Blanchett is joining us. Goodwill Ambassadors play a pivotal role in creating better public understanding and support for refugees, and never has there been a greater need to build these bridges. She has already demonstrated great commitment to the cause and we look forward to seeing her inspire many more people in her new role.”