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 OPCW Public Affairs. +31 (0) 70 416 3242, public.affairs@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

Follow OPCW on Facebook and Twitter.

More news

H.E. Mr András Kocsis (Hungary)

H.E. Mr András Kocsis, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 26 August 2016.26 August 2016Full story

Chemists Learn Peaceful Applications of Natural Product Chemistry

Seventeen chemists from three continents were given the opportunity to upgrade their skills in advanced analytical techniques of natural products in a course supported by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons...18 August 2016Full story

Delegation of Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ghana Visits the OPCW

The Deputy Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao, met today with a delegation from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Republic of...15 August 2016Full story

Customs Training Institutions Engaged to Improve CWC Transfer Regime

From 26-28 July 2016, representatives of customs training institutions from member states of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) took part in a pilot training course on the transfer regime of the...05 August 2016Full story

Statement from the OPCW Director-General on Recent Media Reports of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Recent media reports have highlighted the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. These reports are of great concern. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) continues to examine any credible reports it...03 August 2016Full story

OPCW Capacity-Building Course Enhances National Implementation of Chemical Weapons Convention

Representatives of 42 National Authorities (NA) from across the globe made headways in enhancing their capacity for domestic implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), during a course held by the Organisation for...01 August 2016Full story

OPCW’s Flagship Capacity-Building Programme Gets Underway

The 17th edition of the OPCW Associate Programme was co-inaugurated today by The OPCW Deputy Director-General, Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao, and H.E. Ambassador Christoph Israng, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of...29 July 2016Full story

OPCW Director-General Welcomes UN Security Council Resolution and OPCW Executive Council Decision; Pledges to Facilitate Verifiable Destruction of Libya’s Remaining Chemical Weapons

On 20 July, the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adopted a decision calling for necessary international assistance in response to the Libyan Government of National Accord’s...22 July 2016Full story

To Prevent Destruction of Humankind, Science and Diplomacy Must Work Together, Says OPCW Director-General

“At every stage along the long road to ridding the world of chemical weapons, scientists have been an indispensable partner of the OPCW”, said Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of...22 July 2016Full story

Scientists Are at the Frontline of Peace, Says OPCW Verification Director

“Under OPCW auspices, scientists are taking the lead in promoting science working in the service of peace and security,” said Mr Philippe Denier, Director of Verification Division of the Organisation for the Prohibition of...19 July 2016Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1663
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>