Number 242 | October 15, 2013
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. The OPCW is headed by Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu, a Turkish career diplomat.
Director-General Uzumcu said he wants the prize to inspire everyone to reach for peace in Syria. "I truly hope that this award ... will help broader efforts to achieve peace in Syria and ease the suffering of its people," Uzumcu told reporters on Friday.
The award will be presented to Uzumcu on Dec. 10 at a ceremony in Oslo bestowing the $1.25 million prize to the organization. Uzumcu has been heading the OPCW since the summer of 2010.
The choice of OPCW as the recipient of the peace prize "reinforces the international community's commitment to the international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. Carney added that the award “reinforces the trust and confidence the world has placed in the OPCW, Director-General Ahmed Uzumcu, and the courageous OPCW experts and inspectors taking on the unprecedented challenge of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons program.”
The OPCW, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is the independent implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international arms control treaty. Following an agreement brokered last month to avert U.S. military involvement in Syria, a joint OPWC-U.N. mission was tasked to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria by mid-2014.