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

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid