In 2012, actor George Clooney was arrested for civil disobedience during a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy. Clooney, who appeared in the documentary "Darfur Now," has advocated vehemently for a resolution of the Darfur conflict. Here are some other celebrities' forays into international diplomacy:
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U2 frontman Bono, who was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal, has campaigned for third-world debt relief since 1999. In March 2002, he appeared next to President Bush for the unveiling of a $5 billion aid package for the world's poorest countries. Here, the two attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in February 2006.
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Actress Emma Watson, a U.N. goodwill ambassador, joins U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the launch of the HeForShe campaign in September 2014. Watson's speech on gender equality went viral.
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After filming a movie in Cambodia, actress Angelina Jolie began to visit refugee camps around the world. In 2001, she was named a U.N. goodwill ambassador. Since then, Jolie has visited refugee camps in more than 30 countries, and she was appointed special envoy of the U.N. Refugee Agency in April 2012.
After a visit to North Korea that included a basketball outing with Kim Jong Un, former NBA star Dennis Rodman called the country's supreme leader a "friend for life." In May 2013, Rodman asked Kim via Twitter to release U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" against North Korea.
In March 2003, in the days leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines said to a London audience: "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." That comment led to nationwide backlash, and the Texas-based band has not had a song in the top 30 since.
While in self-induced exile in Europe, legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh became an advocate for the prevention of World War II. In 1938, Lindbergh penned a secret memo to the British, stating that military response to Adolf Hitler's violation of the Munich Agreement would be "suicide." In 1941, he spoke on behalf of the isolationist America First Committee in Des Moines, Iowa, claiming that if the U.S. were to engage in war against Germany, victory would not be likely. Here, Lindbergh testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 1941.
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In 1972, actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam in protest of the Vietnam War. Fonda's visit to Hanoi was marked by a number of controversial events, including a photo showing Fonda seated on an anti-aircraft battery used against U.S. forces. Fonda later apologized for the photo. In this photo, Fonda tours destruction in Hanoi on July 25, 1972.
After her career as child star, Shirley Temple Black was appointed ambassador to the United Nations by President Richard Nixon, ambassador to Ghana by President Gerald Ford and ambassador to Czechoslovakia by President George H.W. Bush. Here, Temple Black, right, confers with her secretary, Ruth Underwood, in her embassy office in December 1989.
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Geri Halliwell, also known as Ginger Spice in the British pop group the Spice Girls, became a representative for the U.N. Population Fund in 1999 and released the documentary "Geri's World Walkabout," which documented her travels with the U.N. In 2006, Halliwell traveled to Zambia to promote the prevention of HIV/AIDS and bring awareness to the steadily increasing rates of maternal death.
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In 2006, singer Harry Belafonte appeared in Venezuela with then-President Hugo Chavez and made controversial statements about Bush: "No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people support your revolution." In this photo, Belafonte, center, speaks with residents of a low-income neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela, before meeting Chavez in January 2005.
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In 2002, a year before the Iraq war began, actor Sean Penn met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and paid a visit to al-Mansour Children's Hospital in Baghdad. Aziz says Penn spoke very strongly against aggression against Iraq by U.S. forces. In 2007, Penn also visited Chavez, to whom he penned a letter criticizing Bush.
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Actress Mia Farrow, a longtime advocate for child rights, traveled to Darfur in 2004 and 2006 to advocate for the freedom of Darfuri refugees. Farrow later wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that is widely credited with heightening awareness about Darfur and eventually led to Sudan accepting a U.N. peacekeeping force.
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Singer Bob Geldof, alongside fellow Irishman Bono, has been a prominent advocate for anti-poverty efforts in Africa. In 1984, he helped found the charity Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. And he organized the Live Aid concert the following year.
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In 2004, Oprah Winfrey documented her travels to South Africa, where she brought attention to young children who are affected by HIV/AIDS and living in poverty. Her trip brought in $7 million in donations from around the world. Three years later, Winfrey established the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Actor Don Cheadle has been a prominent activist for the end of genocide in Darfur. Along with fellow actors Clooney and Brad Pitt, Cheadle helped start the Not On Our Watch Project, an organization focused on preventing mass atrocities. Cheadle was named U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador in 2010.
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Actress Ashley Judd, a global ambassador for YouthAIDS, actively campaigns for awareness of international poverty. In 2010, Judd traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to raise awareness of how sexual violence is driven by conflict minerals in Congo. Here, Judd speaks in Mumbai, India, while raising awareness about AIDS in March 2007.