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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid