Anti-chemical weapons organisation wins Nobel peace prize
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Tuesday, 15 October 2013 19:54


In a shock decision, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 has gone to a small group which is overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, rather than the expected recipient – Malala Yousafzai, who campaigns for the right for girls to attend school.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has expressed their delight at the honour and the director general Ahmet Uzumcu has stated that the news has been overwhelming. 

Meanwhile the Nobel Prize Committee have said that the decision to award the prize to the agency sends a clear message about the importance of doing away with a whole category of weapons of mass destruction. 

The OPCW were in Syria at the time of the recent sarin gas attack which killed more than 1,000 civilians. They investigated the attack – even whilst under attack. They were also responsible for the report which implicated the Syrian government in the use of sarin. There are currently around 24 inspectors in Syria attempting to find and destroy chemical weapons, of which there are an estimated 1,000 tons. 

The OPCW will receive the prize which is worth $1.2 million during a ceremony to be held in December.