Chuck Woolery

Guest Blogger

Chuck Woolery attended Colorado State University, graduating with a B.S. in Biology. While teaching, he learned of the horrific global child death toll from easily preventable hunger and malnutrition related to poverty and decided to change careers. After finishing the book, "Ending Hunger: An idea whose time has come," and organizing political grassroots efforts in California, he moved to Washington DC to become the first Media Director for RESULTS.

He was the first Director of the Alliance for Child Survivaland cofounded "The Global Connections Foundation. Heworked with the Global Health Council, the Action Board of the American Public Health Association and as Chair of the United Nations Association Council of Organizations. In 1998, the World Federalist Associationhired Chuck as Issues Director.

A year after 9-11, he left WFA and became active on the editorial board of the World Hunger Education Service and a school construction project in Haiti. He now speaks frequently regarding global threats and solutions to large groups of students and teachers, visiting Washington DC through the Close Up Foundation. He lives with his wife, children and assorted pets, in Rockville, Maryland and is working on his book, "The Trilemma: Maximizing freedom and security in an interdependent world.

Will We Learn this Time?

No Lost Generation: Syrian children development center

Hunger and starvation are in the news again, this time in Syria. They shouldn’t be. For decades, the world has produced more than enough food to feed every man, woman, and child. Yet today, 16 years past the due date for ending hunger, we still have to read about it on the front page.

Even on a day when hunger is not on the front page, or any page, 17,000 children will die from easily preventable malnutrition and related infectious diseases. And for each child that dies, 10 more will live on with permanent mental and/or physical disabilities.

While some in the world suffer from threats posed by groups like ISIS, experts argue about the definition of “terrorism” and politicians debate how to defeat it. But there should be no debate about the ultimate terror--a parent’s loss of a child or fear of losing a child from a lack of food, one of the most basic of human needs. Nutritious food is one of the most basic of all inalienable human rights.

Sadder still is our failure to learn--after decades of presidential commissions, scientific studies, intelligence reports, and righteous scriptures--that when people are hungry and their children die, all humanity pays a monstrous price in the form of war, disease, revolution, terrorism, and economic instability fueled by hunger. This cost in lives and dollars is always preventable. Given the unbelievably low cost in preventing it, this policy failure should be criminal.

President Jimmy Carter has been chastised for his perceived ineptness at foreign policy, but in hindsight, his administration was the wisest and most insightful. Congress just didn’t listen.

Palestine and the ICC: National Sovereignty vs. Human Rights

One day after a failed bid at the UN to push a Middle East peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority President announced a move for the PA to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a way of seeking to get international judicial support for its ‘war crimes’ allegations against Israel. Now UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has indicated that the Palestinian Authority will be allowed to join the ICC.

Israel’s Netanyahu noted that the Palestinian Authority really should refrain from taking this case to the ICC because of Hamas’s own rocket attacks on Israeli population centers and their use of civilians as human shields. ICC prosecutors have made it clear in the past that they will investigate all allegations of misdeeds in a dispute, not just those of one side.

Most unprejudiced people would agree that there must be accountability for anyone committing war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Unfortunately, at present the ICC can work only in those cases where nation-states, even those accused of crimes, allow it in their jurisdiction. This is another example of the miserable state of the present international system where unlimited national sovereignty is allowed to trump human rights. Even though 139 countries have signed the 1998 Rome Statute establishing the ICC, the most horrific crimes against humanity perpetrated in the past decade—in North Korea, Syria and Sri Lanka, among other places—presently remain outside of the ICC's reach. 

Protecting Human Rights Is Crucial to Global Security

This Letter to the Editor was published in The Washington Post on November 14, 2014.

In his Nov. 9 op-ed, “What the World Bank won’t utter,” Philip Alston made the case for the World Bank to support human rights, but he ignored the role that protecting human rights (and addressing global poverty) plays in ensuring the security of all nations. Too many nations, including the United States, resist enforcing human rights because doing so would hamper “national interests” — code for the short-term economic and political interests of the governing or ruling elite.

With the horrors of World War II still fresh in hearts and minds — governments murdering their own people and the invention of weapons capable of vaporizing thousands of innocent people in a flash — the prevention of another war was paramount. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights passed unanimously in 1948 because it was painfully clear that the human security such protections would bring was a precursor to global security.