The OPCW was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is dedicated to preventing the production and use of chemical weapons.
In 1997, the organization formed a peace treaty. A total of 190 nations have signed the treaty, pledging to halt use and production of chemical weapons. The organization regularly monitors compliance, visiting suspected production sites.
The organization received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in Syria. Last month, Syria’s government agreed to sign the treaty. Inspectors with the OPCW are currently deployed in Syria, documenting the use and production of chemical weapons.
As reported by ABC News, the inspectors will arrange for the destruction and disposal of any equipment or chemicals found during their investigation.
Although the organization is not widely known, their work is essential. The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize will bring worldwide attention the their vital efforts. With more publicity and support, they may have a better chance convincing other nations to sign the treaty.
There are currently seven nations which have refused to sign the treaty or fully ratify their participation. Israel, Myanmay, and Taiwan, signed the treaty. However, they have not ratified it for various reasons.
Angola, Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan, have refused to participate.
Iran signed the treaty. However, they are suspected of violating the parameters by stockpiling chemical weapons and their components.
Russia and the US signed. However, both nations are still in the process of destroying stockpiled supplies and weapons.
As reported by USA Today, Syria will officially become a member on Monday.
Since 1997, the organization has inspected 5,000 sites in 86 nations. According to their records, more than 80 percent of the world’s declared stores of chemical weapons were destroyed.
Headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, the organization is funded by participating nations. Their yearly operating budget is over $100 million.
The OPCW has gotten little recognition for their efforts. The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize will pave the way for more recognition, support, and funding.
[Image via Flickr]