OPCW-The Hague Award presented to pioneers of the Chemical Weapons Convention

2 December 2014
The inaugural OPCW-The Hague Award was awarded to Verifin, accepted by the Director Paula Vanninen, left, with Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, the mayor of The Hague; and Dr. Robert (Bob) Mathews, second from right with Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü at the 19th Conference of States Parties on 1 December 2014.

The inaugural OPCW-The Hague Award was awarded to Verifin, accepted by the Director Paula Vanninen, left, with Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, the mayor of The Hague; and Dr. Robert (Bob) Mathews, second from right with Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü at the 19th Conference of States Parties on 1 December 2014.

On 1 December the OPCW, in partnership with the City of The Hague, hosted the OPCW-The Hague Award Ceremony at the World Forum conference centre. The Award recognises outstanding achievements in advancing the goals of global chemical disarmament.

This year’s inaugural Award was presented jointly to Dr Robert Mathews of Australia and to the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN). The Director- General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, and the Mayor of The Hague, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, presented the Award, with Professor Paula Vanninen receiving it on behalf of VERIFIN.

Dr Mathews and VERIFIN have made valuable contributions to advancing chemical disarmament since well before the signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the founding of the OPCW. They have been credited with providing “sustained leadership and support to the development of key concepts of the Convention, as well as to initiatives to promote chemical disarmament and non-proliferation around the world.”

Speaking at the Award ceremony, Ambassador Üzümcü emphasised the key role played by both recipients in bringing an almost 20-year diplomatic negotiation to a successful conclusion and  setting the stage for the implementation of the world’s most inclusive and comprehensive treaty, which bans an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. Mayor van Aartsen noted that the City of The Hague has a long history of supporting the development of international norms of peace, security and justice, and he welcomed the longstanding partnership between the OPCW and the City of The Hague.

The OPCW-The Hague Award was established to preserve the legacy of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW. The Award comprises a certificate and a medal as well as a cash prize of €90,000.

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