The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation congratulates the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for receiving the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
OPCW is the body that enforces the Chemical Weapons Convention, the international treaty that prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons. Since the Convention came into force in 1997, it has been ratified by 189 states and the OPCW has conducted more than 5,000 inspections in 86 countries.
According to its statistics, 81.1 percent of the world’s declared stockpile of chemical agents has been verifiably destroyed.
Syria is due to become the 190th member state to join the Chemical Weapons Convention on Monday. OPCW is the organization responsible for destroying its stockpiles of chemical weapons.
Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, said in his announcement of this year’s peace laureate that the award is a reminder to other nations, including the United States and Russia, to eliminate their own stockpiles of chemical weapons, “especially because they are demanding that others do the same, like Syria. We now have the opportunity to get rid of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. ... That would be a great event in history if we could achieve that."
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.” It also stated, “Disarmament figures prominently in Alfred Nobel’s will. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has through numerous prizes underlined the need to do away with nuclear weapons. By means of the present award to the OPCW, the Committee is seeking to contribute to the elimination of chemical weapons.”
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s vision is a just and peaceful world, free of nuclear weapons. The implementation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which would make the manufacture, testing, possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law, would build on and expand what the OPCW has accomplished in enforcing the Chemical Weapons Convention, making the world a safer place.
— Sandy Jones is the director of communications for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.