News / Europe

Chemical Weapons Watchdog Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Director General of  the OPCW,  Ahmet Uzumcu,  comments on the organization being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, during a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Oct. 11, 2013.
Director General of the OPCW, Ahmet Uzumcu, comments on the organization being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, during a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Oct. 11, 2013.
VOA News
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is currently working to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

The Nobel Committee made the announcement Friday in Oslo, recognizing the group for "its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons."

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu called the prize a great honor.

"We are a small organization, which for over 16 years and away from the glare of international publicity, has shouldered an onerous but noble task to act as the guardian of the global ban on chemical weapons," he said.

The Hague-based organization was formed in 1997 to enforce the International Chemical Weapons Convention.

2013 Nobel Prize for Peace


Awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
 

  • Group recognized for its efforts to eliminate chemical weapons
  • Currently overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria
  • OPCW came into force in 1997 as the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention
  • It has 189 member states
  • Has conducted thousands of inspections around the world
The Nobel Committee said in a statement Friday that the work of the OPCW has helped define the use of chemical weapons "as taboo under international law." It said recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons were recently used on civilians,"have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons."

Syria has acknowledged having chemical weapons and is set to become a member state of the OPCW on Monday.

The OPCW is funded by its member states and has a budget of some $100 million. It employs about 500 people at its headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. It said it has conducted more than 5,000 inspections in 86 countries, with 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles inventoried and verified.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the selection of the OPCW, saying that it has taken "extraordinary steps" in Syria to address a "blatant violation of international norms."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also congratulated the OPCW but said its work was far from done.

"This recognition occurs nearly 100 years after the first chemical attack and 50 days after the appalling use of chemical weapons in Syria. Tragically, the threat of chemical weapons remains a clear and present danger. The OPCW has a specific task to eliminate the chemical weapons and prevent them from ever re-emerging," he said.

But the choice is also meeting with criticism.

Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Institution Doha Center tweeted Friday, "Let's face it. Kerry,Lavrov and Assad helped OPCW win. I doubt many folks knew much about OPCW before."

And Nadim Houry, director of the Beirut office for Human Rights Watch tweeted, "I would have thought 2013 would have been a year for soul searching at OPCW, not accolades."

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai waves her RAW (Reach All Women) in War Anna Politkovskaya Award while giving a speech at the Southbank Center in London, Oct. 4, 2013.Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai waves her RAW (Reach All Women) in War Anna Politkovskaya Award while giving a speech at the Southbank Center in London, Oct. 4, 2013.
x
Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai waves her RAW (Reach All Women) in War Anna Politkovskaya Award while giving a speech at the Southbank Center in London, Oct. 4, 2013.
Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai waves her RAW (Reach All Women) in War Anna Politkovskaya Award while giving a speech at the Southbank Center in London, Oct. 4, 2013.
This year's selection was considered a surprise. Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old activist for Pakistani women's education, was seen as a favorite to win the award. On Thursday she won the European Union's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Past Nobel Peace laureates include the European Union, U.S. President Barack Obama, Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and Polish trade union organizer Lech Walesa.

Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mr. Parry from: USA
October 11, 2013 10:42 AM
VOA, no mention of the CIA with their LONG history of arming, funding, training, running Al Qaeda in this article. This is all now out in the open. Why no mention here????


by: Dr. Benley M.D. Phd from: USA
October 11, 2013 10:04 AM
The Globalists REAL chemical weapons of choice are FLUORIDE in the tap water, MERCURY in all the vaccines, and GMO in the foods. ALL CLINICALLY PROVEN by leading universities to cause cancer and a plethora of other degenerative cognitive disorders. Let's give the Globalists a peace prize for slow-killing all of us. Never mind Syria.


by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
October 11, 2013 8:43 AM
This organization well deserves the peace prize. Unlike an undeserving Barrack Obama. What was the committee thinking? Good to see that they are back on track. Congrats to the OPCW!

In Response

by: Cranksy from: USA
October 14, 2013 2:00 PM
Although I voted for President Obama twice and supported him in other ways, it was ludicrous that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he had time to possibly earn it. It was more likely that the committee was awarding the USA electorate for having elected an Afro-American given our country's history of slavery and continuing racial problems.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid