OSLO, Norway – The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on Friday “for its extensive efforts” to rid the world of such arsenals, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
“The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law,” the committee said. “Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons.”
Based in The Hague, Netherlands, the OPCW was formed in 1997 to enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention, the first international treaty to outlaw an entire class of weapons.
The organization has 189 member states and Friday’s award comes just days before Syria officially joins and even as OPCW inspectors are on a highly risky United Nations-backed disarmament mission based in Damascus to verify and destroy President Bashar Assad’s arsenal of poison gas and nerve agents amid a raging civil war.
The peace prize was the last of the original Nobel Prizes to be announced for this year. The winners of the economics award, added in 1968, will be announced on Monday.