Cate Blanchett champions education and refugee voices at global forum

Cate Blanchett, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, urges more attention towards education of refugees during the second forum on global compact.

FILE PHOTO: UNHCR goodwill ambassador Cate Blanchett talks with women during her visit to Niger, July 7, 2023. UNHCR/Hector Perez/Handout via REUTERS/FILE PHOTO

According to Reuters, the Forum which was hosted by UNHCR brings together political leaders, diplomats, charities, private organisations, and refugee people who comprise the biggest global gathering on the refugees, conducted once per every four years.

Blanchett has been to Jordan, Nigeria, and southern Sudan this year to highlight education sector needs and provide strong aid for host communities.

In an interview with Reuters, she emphasizes that to make the SDGs achievable, the voices of refugees must not be undermined. “It’s important to focus on the education quadrant and really supporting host communities.”

A record of 114 million people have been displaced by wars, hunger, extreme weather conditions, and many other factors making her urge for meaningful deliberations and not soundbites about the refugee crisis. The forcing of people to other parts merely breeds more problems and she criticizes this.

Over the years, Blanchett has been an Oscar-winning actor twice and UNHCR goodwill ambassador since 2016. In this period, she has been taking part in advocacies, fundraising and visiting refugees globally. She went back to Jordan this year, visited Niger, South Sudan and called upon more aid for refugees and hosts.

Blanchett states that Europe has often supported countries in close proximity of war zones, yet it is imperative that investments are made with commitment. “I do think that Europe has had a history of being incredibly supportive to host countries who are near the point of conflict and departure,” she said.

“But if you make that investment and you don’t make good on that investment, then that is money wasted.”

Reflecting on the role of art and film, Blanchett, who starred in and produced the drama, “Stateless” in 2020, emphasizes their ability to provide a platform for difficult discussions.

She states, “Works of art, films … provide a platform, an opportunity and a coming together to talk about things that are really difficult to talk about. Not necessarily to find an answer but to keep the dialogue alive.”

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