OPCW to create new award with Nobel Peace Prize money

Oslo, Dec 10: Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Monday said his organisation would use the Nobel Peace Prize money to create a new award for those who make an outstanding contribution to the realisation of the goals set in the OPCW convention.

Speaking to reporters in Oslo before receiving the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the world’s chemical weapon watchdog, Uzumcu said the new OPCW award would be given out annually, Xinhua reported.

“Of course, we are not going to compete with the Nobel Peace Prize. So it will be a modest prize,” said the smiling OPCW chief.

The OPCW, set up in 1997, has been awarded the $1.2-million peace prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons” in the past 14 years.

Since August this year, the OPCW has been in Syria with an aim to destroy its chemical weapon stockpiles. Under a detailed OPCW plan, the most dangerous chemical weapon agents will be transported out of Syria by Dec 31 this year, while the rest will be shipped out for destruction no later than June 30, 2014.

Uzumcu said his organisation being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was a pleasant surprise for him and his OPCW colleagues, adding it helped boost the morale of chemical weapon inspectors in Syria.

The OPCW Convention calls for prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. A total of 190 countries have signed and ratified the convention.