The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Price for 2013 is to be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons, said the committee in a press release.

During World War One, chemical weapons were used to a considerable degree. The Geneva Convention of 1925 prohibited the use, but not the production or storage, of   chemical weapons. During World War Two, chemical means were employed in Hitler’s mass exterminations. Chemical weapons have subsequently been put to use on numerous occasions by both states and terrorists, according to the press release.

In 1992-93 a convention was drawn up prohibiting also the production and storage of such weapons. It came into force in 1997. Since then the OPCW has, through inspections, destruction and by other means, sought the implementation of the convention. 189 states have acceded to the convention to date.The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law. Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons. Some states are still not members of the OPCW.Certain states have not observed the deadline, which was April 2012, for destroying their chemical weapons. This applies especially to the USA and Russia.

Disarmament figures prominently in Alfred Nobel’s will. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has through numerous prizes underlined the need to do away with nuclear weapons. By means of the present award to the OPCW, the Committee is seeking to contribute to the elimination of chemical weapons, says the press release.


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  1. Well, this is a good initiative; but, there is a long way to go. There is a chance of the destruction of chemical weapons in “some” countries. Personally, I think most countries will still continue harboring chemical weapons secretly. Atleast the ones without nuclear power will. This gets me to the next point. The countries with nuclear power will never relinquish them, not even by a long shot. I sincerely wish OPCW luck. I can only hope the nobel prize awarded to them turns to be motivation for other countries to join them and destroy chemical weapons.

  2. You’re right. It is absurd to see the big nuclear powers pushing to destroy other’s chemical weapons and doing nothing about the nuclear weapons they have.

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About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.




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