UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie stands to leave after giving the keynote address to delegates at the 2017 United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Picture: AP

Angelina Jolie referenced the recent sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood while asking United Nations peacekeepers to crack down on sexual violence.

The 42-year-old actress referenced the recent sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood - which have seen several big-names, including Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey accused of sexual harassment - in a forceful speech in which she called for the "abuse" to be taken more seriously.

READ: Harvey Weinstein stripped of honorary university degree

Speaking at the U.N. Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, she said: "Sexual violence is everywhere - in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world.

"All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offence by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need. But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive."

Angelina described sexual violence as "a critical obstacle to achieving women's equality and our full human rights" and asked peacekeepers to treat it as a weapon and to help to prevent it. 

She added: "It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective."

In October, Angelina admitted she had previously tried to "warn" other women about working with Weinstein after having a "bad experience" with him during her younger years. 

She said: "I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did.

"This behaviour towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable."