I was firmly on #TeamMalala, but there is good reason to get behind the Nobel Committee’s decision to confer the 2013 Peace Prize on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Until last month, the OPCW was not exactly part of the foreign policy community’s everyday vernacular. Still, for the past 15 years it has played a vital role in eliminating chemical stockpiles of its member states. Its value to international peace and security became sharply apparent in recent weeks when it became the key institution charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. OPCW monitors have shown themselves to be highly competent and effective (not to mention brave).
Chemical weapons use is a crime against humanity. The OPCW swiftly swooped into a war to oversee the elimination of these weapons. The OPCW is a crimes-against-humanity-stopper. They are much deserving of the Nobel.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons joins 8 other United Nations- affiliates that have won the Nobel Peace Prize. (The UN Refugee Agency won twice). If you count individuals affiliated with the UN, the number rises to 12. This is nice external validation of the UN’s work in service of international peace.
The Nobel Peace Prize 1950 — Ralph Bunche
The Nobel Peace Prize 1954 — Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1957 — Lester Bowles Pearson
The Nobel Peace Prize 1961 — Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld
The Nobel Peace Prize 1965 — United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1969 — International Labour Organization (I.L.O.)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1981 — Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1988 — United Nations Peacekeeping Forces
The Nobel Peace Prize 2001 — United Nations (U.N.) and Kofi Annan
The Nobel Peace Prize 2005 — International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei
The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2013 — Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)