Tag Archives: Nobel Peace Prize

Üzümcü: “After Syria I do not see any country able to use chemical weapons anymore”

The last day of October, a sunny Friday in The Hague, I met with Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü to reflect on the previous year and a half, during which the civil war in Syria suddenly thrust the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into the spotlight.

In March 2013 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested technical assistance from the OPCW to investigate alleged chemical weapon (CW) use in the war-torn country. Six months later, after a serious incident in which sarin nerve agent killed and poisoned many hundreds of people in the Ghouta district of Damascus, Syria unexpectedly joined the Chemical Weapons Convention. And so began an urgent and perilous disarmament project. The announcement that the OPCW was to receive the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize just knocked international expectations from the organisation several notches higher. read more

A Nobel Peace Prize for Disarmament

Today Syria becomes the 190th party to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
In the 16 years since entry into force on 29 April 1997, CWC universality now equals that of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (which entered into force on 5 March 1970).
The convention extends the 1925 Geneva Protocol’s ban on chemical (and biological) warfare by also comprehensively prohibiting the development, acquisition, transfer and possession of chemical weapons (CW). Indeed, the norm against CW has become so overpowering that a relatively small chemical attack by historical standards in Ghouta (Damascus) on 21 August brought allies and foes of the Bashar al-Assad regime together forcing the Syrian government to formally renounce CW as an instrument of war or deterrence. All of this in a matter of less than seven weeks! read more