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Prize announcement in Oslo

Nobel Peace Prize: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is to be awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Their inspectors are currently in Syria, where they are destroying the country’s poison gas arsenal on behalf of the United Nations.

The Chancellor congratulated all staff members of the organisation. This Prize is a very special tribute to the commitment of the organisation in an absolutely key area of disarmament, said Angela Merkel. "The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons makes a valuable contribution to monitoring and disposing of inhuman weapons around the globe."

Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle praised the longstanding and courageous engagement of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Speaking in Kyiv he declared that the Nobel Peace Prize, "will be a further boost for global disarmament. This decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee will encourage people everywhere who are striving to promote disarmament and stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. "

Dangerous work in crisis-affected areas

The UN Security Council resolution of 27 September mandated the OPCW to destroy all chemical weapons in Syria. As a first step, Germany provided two million euro for the Syrian mission of the OPCW. As well as this financial backing, Germany is providing technical expertise.

Syria, where a civil war has been raging for two years, did recently join the UN Convention on Chemical Weapons, but the Syrian government is held to be responsible for a poison gas attack close to Damascus on 21 August. The victims, including many women and children, numbered over a thousand.

"The organisation and its staff work in conflict-affected regions, often putting themselves in great danger, in an effort to make the world a safer place," said the Chancellor. "They deserve our respect. The Nobel Peace Prize is a tribute to every single member of staff."

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an independent international organisation that began its work on 29 April 1987. An agreement with the United Nations regulates the contractual relations between the two bodies. The OPCW monitors compliance with and implementation of the 1997 UN Convention on Chemical Weapons. The 188 states parties of this Convention are required to report annually on the measures they have taken to implement the provisions of the Convention.

The OPCW is based in The Hague. Germany contributes around ten percent of the total budget of some 60 million euros.

Friday, 11. October 2013

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