Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

The Nobel Peace Prize 2013 was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons "for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons". OPCW's Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said the award will only spur the organisation's efforts, commitment and dedication.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü addresses the media on 11 October 2013 on the occasion of the organisation's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2013

The OPCW was established to oversee the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention - the full global ban on these kind of weapons. The Nobel Committee stated: "The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law.

Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away wich such weapons. (...) By means of the present award to the OPCW, the Committee is seeking to contribute to the elimination of chemical weapons."

Ban Ki-moon: "Like the United Nations, the mission of the OPCW was born from a fundamental abhorrence at the atrocities of war"

The director of the OPCW also recalled the recent chemical attacks in Syria. These attacks led to an international response, including a front-line role for the OPCW, working together with the United Nations in the 'the OPCW-UN Joint Mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons'. "Never in its history has the OPCW overseen the destruction of such a major chemical weapons stockpile in the midst of a civil war, and in such compressed timeframes."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the OPCW and said: "Like the United Nations, the mission of the OPCW was born from a fundamental abhorrence at the atrocities of war. From the battlefields to the laboratories to the negotiating table, the United Nations is honoured to work hand-in-hand with the OPCW to eliminate the threat posed by chemical weapons for all people and for all time."




Ahmet Üzümcü

Statement by OPCW’s Director-General, Ahmet Üzümcü and an impression of the organization's preparations to work in Syria

11 October 2013, Netherlands



Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Hailing its work on disarmament and non-proliferation, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the OPCW and said this recognition "occurs nearly 100 years after the first chemical attack and 50 days after the appalling use of chemical weapons in Syria." 

11 October 2013, Brunei


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