The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC), the body supervising the obliteration of Syria’s chemical stockpile, won the Nobel Peace Prize
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body supervising the obliteration of Syria’s chemical stockpile, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee informed.
The Nobel Committee said it was in admiration of the OPCW’s ‘extensive work to get rid of chemical weapons’.
The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was instituted to put in force the 1997 Chemical Weapons convention.
The watchdog, backed by the United Nations, are currently working to wipe out Syria’s huge chemical weapon stash after a sarin gas attack in the fringes of Damascus killed more the 1,400 people in August.
The supervisory body picks up a gold medal and 8m Swedish Kronor ($1.25 million) as winner of the most desirable of the Nobel honours. The prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the death anniversary of the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.
During World War I, it said, chemical weapons were used to a considerable degree. The Geneva Convention of 1925 prohibited the use, but not the production or storage, of chemical weapons.
During World War II, chemical means were employed in Hitler’s mass exterminations. Chemical weapons have subsequently been put to use on numerous occasions by both states and terrorists. In 1992-93, a convention was drawn up prohibiting the production and storage of such weapons. It came into force in 1997.
Since then the OPCW has, through inspections, destruction and by other means, sought the implementation of the convention. In all, 189 states have acceded to the convention till date, the press release added.
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 with such weapons.
While some states are still not members of the OPCW, certain others have not observed the deadline, which was April 2012, for destroying their chemical weapons. This applies especially to the US and Russia, the release added.
-With inputs from IANS