OPCW awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Today, the Nobel Peace Prize committee announced that the prize for 2013 is being awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its 'extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons'. 
 
The OPCW, the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), is currently engaged in verifying the chemical disarmament of the convention’s newest member, Syria—a country where several alleged, and one confirmed, chemical weapons attacks have taken place this year. 'Recent events in Syria…have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with [chemical weapons],' the Nobel committee said in a statement, noting that the US and Russia are among a number of CWC parties behind schedule in their chemical weapon destruction activities. 

Past organisational winners of the Nobel Peace Prize include the International Committee of the Red Cross (in 1917, 1944 and 1963), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (in 1954 and 1981), the UN Children's Fund (in 1965), the UN as a whole (in 2001), the International Atomic Energy Agency (in 2005) and the European Union (in 2012).

Speaking today, the director-general of the OPCW, Ahmet Üzümcü, described the award as a ‘great honour’ and said that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war stands as a ‘tragic reminder that there remains much work to be done.’ Since its founding in 1997—the year of the CWC's entry into force—the organisation has done a great deal to embed an international norm against the use of chemical weapons. Today, with Syria having joined the convention it oversees, only six states remain outside. 
 

Last changed: Oct 11 2013 at 8:44 PM

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