OPCW Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2013

The global chemical weapons watchdog working to eliminate chemical arms stockpiles around the battlefields of Syria’s civil war won the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a relatively small organisation with a modest budget, dispatched experts to Syria after a sarin gas attack killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus in August.

Their deployment under a U.N. mandate helped avert a U.S. strike against President Bashar al-Assad and marked an unusual step into the limelight for a group more used to working behind the scenes overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons worldwide. The Hague-based OPCW was set up in 1997 to implement a 1992 global Chemical Weapons Convention to banish chemical arms and most recently helped destroy stockpiles in Iraq and Libya. It has about 500 staff and an annual budget under $100 million.

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