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OPCW Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2013, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

14 October 2013

Congratulations to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2013, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

I would like to extend my congratulations to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the unique and life-saving work that is recognized in the award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

This award is timely and compelling. It is timely because we have just seen at first hand the human suffering and trauma of chemical weapons use in Syria. Today the victims of chemical weapons in Syria, Iran and other countries are recognized along with the organization set up to help end such tragedies.

The award is compelling because peace is a shared responsibility today as never before. In our interdependent world it is fitting for the Nobel Peace Prize to go to an international organization. The governments cooperating through the OPCW finally to rid the world of a heinous class of weapons also share in this honour.

We pray that the award may prove to be a milestone. Since World War Two, the members of the World Council of Churches have joined people of good will and the vast majority of governments in calling for all weapons of mass destruction to be eliminated. We see such bans as an essential test of the international rule of law. Sadly, it a test yet to be passed. The OPCW story gives us hope that the same leading nations who responded so quickly when chemical weapons were used in Syria will begin to show similar leadership over their own nuclear arsenals which are the world’s worst weapons, and which have still not been banned.

We celebrate the work of peace today and pray for the safety and success of all who strive to carry it forward.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary