Recipients of the Second Annual “OPCW-The Hague Award” Announced

11 November 2015
Dr Alastair Hay (left) and Dr Mahdi Balali-Mood, recipients of the second annual OPCW-The Hague Award

Dr Alastair Hay (left) and Dr Mahdi Balali-Mood, recipients of the second annual OPCW-The Hague Award

The Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü, takes pleasure in announcing the decision of the OPCW-The Hague Award Committee1 to honour Dr Alastair Hay of the United Kingdom and Dr Mahdi Balali-Mood of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the joint recipients of the second annual OPCW-The Hague Award.

The Award, created by the OPCW as an outcome of its winning of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize and supported by a generous financial contribution from the City of The Hague, is intended to honour and recognise individuals and non-profit, non-governmental organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to achieving a world free of chemical weapons.

Dr Hay, a British national, is an eminent scientist whose extensive knowledge on the toxic properties of chemical warfare agents has made him a leading expert in the field.  Throughout his career, he has tirelessly supported and promoted the objectives of the OPCW by promoting ethical uses of chemistry and biology, including the development of international codes of practice.

Dr Balali-Mood, an Iranian national, is an expert toxicologist who has dedicated his career to the treatment of victims of chemical warfare agents.  He has been a ceaseless educator on the medical aspects of chemical weapons, working closely with the WHO and OPCW to advocate for victims and to develop international guidelines for response to the use of chemical warfare agents.

The nominations for the second annual Awards represented a strong cross section of nominees and as such it was the decision of the Committee that the Award be shared between the two worthy recipients.

The 2015 Award winners will be honoured at a presentation ceremony to be held at the Headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, The Netherlands on 30 November 2015. The 2015 winners will be presented a medal, a certificate of recognition and a cash prize of €45,000.00 each.

The inaugural OPCW-The Hague Award, presented in December 2014, honoured Dr Robert Matthews of Australia and the Finnish Institute for the Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN) for their significant contributions to the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

1OPCW-The Hague Award Committee consists of the following:
1.    H.E. Ambassador Francesco Azzarello, Chairperson of the OPCW Executive Council
2.    Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague
3.    H.E. Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director General OPCW
4.    Mr. Mark C. Cesa, President of IUPAC
5.    Mr. Cal Dooley, ICCA