Chemical weapons watchdog wins 2013 Nobel Peace Prize

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is currently working in Syria to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal.

The Stockholm-based Nobel Committee made the announcement Friday in Oslo.

The Hague-based OPCW, founded in 1997, consists of a conference of states who are members of the International Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Nobel Committee said in a statement Friday that the conventions and the work of the OPCW “have defined 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.”

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.


(Photo: Henry Arvidsson)