Didier Reynders congratulates the OPCW on winning the Nobel Peace Prize

date: 11 October 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders congratulates Ahmet Üzümcü, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and his colleagues on winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Minister is pleased that this prize has been awarded at a time when the arms inspectors are working in Syria and at a time when Belgium is preparing to commemorate the first chemical weapons attack ever, which took place in the Westhoek nearly 100 years ago.

The Nobel Committee’s selection focuses attention on the success of the Chemical Weapons Convention. This principle, which is almost universally applicable, provides an international standard that qualifies the use of chemical weapons as illegal and as a war crime. This was recently proven during the Syrian conflict. The standard even applies to parties that have not signed the Convention.

Just like all the other international disarmament and non-proliferation organisations, the OPCW works on the principle of trust with the signatories. The OPCW is first and foremost a tool for monitoring and verification that forms the foundation for this trust.

The Minister calls upon all States to sign the Convention.