Angelina Jolie has accepted an award for her humanitarian work as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations in refugee agency.
At a dinner attended by 700 diplomats and VIP guests Tuesday, Jolie received the Global Humanitarian Award from the United Nations Association of the U.S.A.
The actress said her humanitarian work has been "the greatest thing in my life" aside from her two children.
She said she hoped she would live up to the promise she made to herself when she became a goodwill ambassador four years ago for the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to do everything possible to help refugees all over the world because "they deserve every bit of our effort."
Jolie quoted from the preamble to the U.N. Charter which reaffirms "faith in human rights" and said, "the U.N. is the closest thing to fighting for justice."
"I feel very, very privileged to be a very small part of it," Jolie said.
Leonore Annenberg, president and chairman of The Annenberg Foundation, was awarded the association's Global Leadership Award, but was too ill to attend the ceremony.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Negroponte, the U.S. director of national intelligence, accepted the award on behalf of Mrs. Annenberg, praising her career as U.S. chief of protocol under the late President Ronald Reagan and as one of America's leading philanthropists.
In a tearful tribute, Annenberg's granddaughter, Liz Kabler, promised to follow in her footsteps, drawing sustained applause from the crowd at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
U.S. first lady Laura Bush delivered a videotaped tribute of her own, telling Annenberg and Jolie: "You've both used your gifts and talents to make the world a better place," reports the AP.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea