The Norwegian Nobel Committeehas
decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 is to be awarded to the
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its
extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
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. 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.
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.
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