Organization That Destroys Chemical Weapons Gets 2013 Nobel Peace Prize

The U.N. agency, based in The Hague, beat off a host of better-known contenders to win the gong for this year, announced in Oslo this morning.

Organization That Destroys Chemical Weapons Gets 2013 Nobel Peace Prize
[Image: Flickr user Andreuchis]

A body charged with overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons has won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was announced as the winner over a record 259 nominations, which included Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, Chinese dissident Hu Jia, and a gynecologist who has treated rape victims of the Congolese conflict, Denis Mukwege. Russian premier Vladimir Putin had apparently been in the running. (And so had my mum. And the milkman. And the dog.)

The OPCW marked the occasion by sending a brief but to-the-point tweet:

The Nobel Committee stated that the watchdog, part of the United Nations, did not win for its current campaign in Syria, but rather for its “extensive efforts” to outlaw chemical weapons. Over 80% of the world’s chemical weapons have been destroyed–as has the OPCW’s website, which crashed soon after the announcement.

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.