President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy congratulates the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, winner of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize
EU News 435/2013
Brussels, 11 October 2013
PR PCE 182
I should like to wholeheartedly congratulate the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - the winner of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is invaluable for all of us as our shared aim is a chemical weapons free world.
The decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee pays tribute to the collective goal of preventing chemistry from ever again being used for warfare, thereby strengthening international security.
Only recently we were again reminded of the abhorrent effects of chemical weapons. The 21 August chemical attack in the outskirts of Damascus, killing hundreds of people, including many civilians and children, was a blatant violation of international law and a crime against humanity. This atrocious act runs contrary to all values and principles shared by the international community.
Therefore the work currently conducted by the OPCW in Syria is of paramount importance. The verification of the Syrian stock of chemical weapons and the destruction of the arsenal should now pave the way for the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria. And with potentially even greater significance, this will hopefully set a new standard for the international community in responding to threats posed by weapons of mass destruction.
The work of the OPCW will significantly help in reducing the risks of something like this ever happening again. But in the end it is for the worlds statesmen and leaders to denounce any use of chemical weapons and destroy existing stock-piles. I urge all leaders to sign up to and fully implement the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.
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