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Ben Stiller named global goodwill ambassador for UN refugee agency

BEN STILLER at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, April 15, 2016. Photo courtesy  of Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival.

NEW YORK CITY (JTA) — Actor Ben Stiller was named a global goodwill ambassador on Monday, July 2, by the United Nations refugee agency. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, made the announcement on the same day that Stiller finished up a trip with the agency to Guatemala, where he met people who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence from organized crime and gangs.

“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,” Stiller said in a statement announcing his appointment. “I for one will do what I can as a goodwill ambassador for UNHCR to advocate for refugees and encourage others to join me.”

He also said in a tweet: “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.” The tweet included the hashtag #DoIHaveDiplomaticImmunity.

The actor and director has been involved with the international refugee agency since 2016, and also has traveled to Germany and Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees.

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