Syria’s chemical weapons monitors win Nobel Peace Prize
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal, has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Committee said it was in honour of the OPCW’s “extensive work to eliminate chemical weapons”.
The OPCW, based in The Hague, was established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.
OPCW’s Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said the award was a “great honour” and would spur it on in its work.
He said the deployment of chemical weapons in Syria had been a “tragic reminder that there remains much work to be done”.
The OPCW recently sent inspectors to oversee the dismantling of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.
It is the first time OPCW inspectors have worked in an active war zone.
The watchdog picks up a gold medal and eight million Swedish kronor ($1.25 million) as winner of the most coveted of the Nobel honours.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised the award, saying the OPCW had “greatly strengthened the rule of law in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation”.
Announcing the award in Oslo, Norwegian Nobel Committee’s chairman, Thorbjoern Jagland, said it wanted to recognise the OPCW’s “extensive work”.
“The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law,” he said