Statement by the OPCW Director-General on the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace

Friday, 11 October 2013

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü addresses the media on 11 October.

The decision by the Nobel Committee to bestow this year’s Peace Prize on the OPCW is a great honour for our Organisation.

We are a small organisation which for over 16 years, and away from the glare of international publicity, has shouldered an onerous but noble task – to act as the guardian of the global ban on chemical weapons that took effect in 1997.

That year, a hundred-year effort was crowned with success as the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force.

Our organization was tasked to verify the elimination of chemical weapons from the world and to encourage all nations to adhere to this hard-earned norm. 

We have since then worked with quiet determination to rid the world of these heinous weapons – weapons which have been used to horrific effect throughout the twentieth century, and, sadly, in our own time too.

Events in Syria have been a tragic reminder that there remains much work yet to be done. Our hearts go out to the Syrian people who were recently victims of the horror of chemical weapons.

Today we are engaged in work which is meant to ensure that this atrocity is not repeated.

Never in the history of our organisation have we been called on to verify a destruction program within such short timeframes – and in an ongoing conflict.

We are conscious of the enormous trust that the international community has bestowed on us.

Working to realize the vision of a world free of chemical weapons, we rely on the expertise, professionalism and dedication of our staff – qualities that have been forged through a solid record of achievement.

This would clearly not be possible without the steadfast support and commitment of our States Parties.

The recognition that the Peace Prize brings will spur us to untiring effort, even stronger commitment and greater dedication.

I truly hope that this award, and the OPCW’s ongoing mission together with the United Nations in Syria, will help broader efforts to achieve peace in that country and end the suffering of its people.

I take this opportunity to commend all those who have contributed to making the ban on chemical weapons an enduring and universal norm.

I look forward to accepting this award in humility and in recognition of the professionalism of our staff, both past and present, and the strong support we have received from our States Parties.


Categories: All OPCW news, Nobel

For further information, please contact Mr Malik Ellahi, Acting Head, OPCW Media & Public Affairs. Tel: + 31 (0) 70 416 3836 or +31 (0)(0) 6 5391 3508 or media@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands 

More news

photo of chemical plant

OPCW reaches three thousand industry inspections milestone

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) today completed four chemical industry inspections in different geographic regions of the world, bringing the total number of such inspections to three...21 August 2015Full story

photo of DG H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü

Director General concerned over alleged chemical weapons use in Iraq

Recent reports of possible use of chemical weapons in Iraq by non-State actors are a matter of serious concern. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is in contact with the government of Iraq and will...17 August 2015Full story

photo of Participants at an advanced course on chemical emergency response in Costa Rica.

Second Advanced Regional Assistance and Protection Course on Chemical Emergency Response for GRULAC States Parties held in Costa Rica

The Second Advanced Regional Assistance-and-Protection Course on Chemical Emergency Response for States Parties in Latin America and the Caribbean was  held from 3 to 7 August in San José, Costa Rica. The course was...17 August 2015Full story

photo of Myanmar flag

Myanmar joins the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Myanmar today became the 191st State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), as the Convention entered into force for the country. “Myanmar’s accession brings the CWC closer to universal adherence and to achieving a...07 August 2015Full story

photo of Participants at the Emergency Response Exercise on Assistance and Protection

Emergency Response Exercise on Assistance and Protection held in Kazakhstan

Emergency Response Exercise on Assistance and Protection, held from 15 to 17 July 2015 was jointly organised by the Technical Secretariat and the Government of Kazakhstan. The training was the third and closing stage of...07 August 2015Full story

photo of H.E. Mr Christian Lepage (Belgium)

H.E. Mr Christian Lepage (Belgium)

H.E. Mr Christian Lepage of Belgium presented his credentials to the Director-General on 31 July 2015.06 August 2015Full story

The 16th Annual Associate Programme Begins

The OPCW officially commenced the 16th edition of its annual Associate Programme on 24 July at the organisation’s headquarters in The Hague. Launched by the OPCW in 2000, the programme trains chemists and chemical engineers in...27 July 2015Full story

Director-General receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of Surrey

The Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, was today conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Surrey in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to global disarmament”.  The occasion was...16 July 2015Full story

15th Annual Workshop to Coordinate Assistance and Protection held in Antalya, Turkey

The 15th Annual Workshop to Coordinate Assistance and Protection was jointly organised by the OPCW and Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Republic of Turkey (AFAD). The meeting took place in the city of Antalya,...10 July 2015Full story

Myanmar Joins Chemical Weapons Convention

Myanmar deposited its instrument of ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention on 8 July.  After 30 days, the Convention will enter into force for Myanmar, raising its membership to 191 States Parties. Welcoming...09 July 2015Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1545
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>

OPCW news by e-mail

Subscribe

Are you subscribed already and wish to unsubscribe or update your profile?