By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international group responsible for making sure nations do not use chemical weapons, has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
While their efforts in disarming Syria have earned the OPCW global attention recently, Nobel chairman Thorbjorn Jagland explained that the group has done far more to earn the award. He said, “It is because of its long-standing efforts to eliminate chemical weapons and that we are now about to reach the goal and do away with a whole category of weapons of mass destruction. That would be a great event in history, if we can achieve that.”
As for the Director-General of the OPCW, Ahmet Uzumcu, he is quite pleased and hopes the award will encourage peace in Syria. “I truly hope that this award… will help broader efforts to achieve peace in that country and (ease) the suffering of its people,” he explained.
Rather than just relaxing now that they’ve won the award, the OPCW will double their efforts to keep the world safe. “The recognition that the peace prize brings will spur us to untiring effort, even stronger commitment and greater dedication,” promised Uzumcu.
A team from the OPCW has been in Syria destroying chemical weapons since October 1, as part of a US-Russia deal to disarm the country following a chemical attack on August 21.
Since Syria has also submitted a request to join the Chemical Weapons Convention – an agreement in which 189 nations have agreed never to use chemical weapons in war – they will become the 190th member state on October 14.
Images courtesy of OPCW.