Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has congratulated Ahmet Uzumcu, the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), that was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday "for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons."
“From the battlefields to the laboratories to the negotiating table, the United Nations is honoured to work hand-in-hand with the OPCW to eliminate the threat posed by chemical weapons for all people and for all time,” Ban said in a statement.
Ban stressed that while the OPCW was being recognized nearly 100 years after the first chemical attack, chemical weapons remained a “clear and present danger,” as shown by the crisis in Syria, where an advance team for the UN-OPCW joint mission was overseeing the destruction of the country’s chemical stockpiles.
Ban added that later today the Security Council was expected to approve a first-of-its-kind OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria following the landmark work carried out by the UN Chemical Weapons Investigation Mission.
“The OPCW has a specific task, to eliminate chemical weapons and prevent them from ever re-emerging. But it also has a broad mission, to prove that the inhumanity of war can give rise to the humanity of solidarity and international cooperation,” he said.
Founded in 1997, the OPCW is an independent and autonomous organization that has, through inspections, destruction and by other means, sought to uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention drawn up in 1992-93 to prohibit the use, production and storage of chemical weapons.
The organization is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, has 189 member states and is led by Director General Ahmet Uzumcu.
UK FCO Minister congratulates OPCW over Nobel Peace Prize win
Britain's new Minister of State to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in charge of the Middle East and North Africa, Hugh Robertson has congratulated the OPCW over winning the Nobel Peace Prize and for its tireless work to rid the world of chemical weapons.
According to a written statement released from the FCO, Minister Robertson said that since the organisation's formation, enormous progress had been made in achieving near universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and destroying the majority of chemical weapons stockpiles worldwide and added, "With the inclusion of Syria, there are now 190 parties to the Convention and the Organisation has overseen the destruction of some 60,000 tonnes of chemical weapons to date."
Conservative Robertson expressed, the OPCW moved quickly to facilitate the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks and reminded, "the UK is providing an initial contribution £2million to support the work of the OPCW in Syria and we stand ready to provide further assistance."
In the beginning of this week, within the framework of reshuffles in the British government, Robertson was placed as the new British Minister of State to FCO in charge of the Middle East and North Africa.