Global chemical watchdog wins Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO, Norway — The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for working to eliminate the scourge that has haunted generations from World War I to the battlefields of Syria.

By MARK LEWIS and KARL RITTER, AP Published: October 11, 2013
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However, the committee noted that some countries have not observed their deadlines.

“This applies especially to the USA and Russia,” committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.

After an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds in Syria, Assad was faced by the prospect of possibly devastating U.S. strikes against his military. To avert that, he admitted his chemical weapons stockpile and his government quickly signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention and allowed OPCW inspectors into his country.

Syria is scheduled to formally become a member of the organization on Monday.

The first OPCW inspection team arrived in Syria last week, followed by a second this week and they have already begun to oversee the first stages of destruction of Assad's chemical weapons.

According to the OPCW, 57,740 metric tons, or 81.1 percent, of the world's declared stockpile of chemical agents have been verifiably destroyed. Albania, India and “a third country” — believed to be South Korea — have completed destruction of their declared stockpiles.

An OPCW report released earlier this year said the United States had destroyed about 90 percent of its stockpile, Russia had destroyed 70 percent of its chemical weapons and Libya 51 percent.

Among nonmember states are North Korea, Angola, Egypt and South Sudan. Israel and Myanmar have signed but not ratified the convention.

The European Union won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

The peace prize was the last of the original Nobel Prizes to be announced for this year. The winners of the economics award, added in 1968, will be announced on Monday.

———

Ritter reported from Stockholm. AP reporter Michael Corder in The Hague contributed to this report.



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