Fight to End Chemical Warfare Wins 2013 Nobel Peace Prize

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is honored "for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons"

Jonathunder/Wikimedia Commons

The use of a deadly chemical agent in Syria this summer underscores the continuing threat that such horrific weapons pose. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has led the international charge to ban chemical weapons, and the  Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 to the organization for its extensive efforts.

Perhaps ironically, another Nobel laureate is considered by some historians to be the father of chemical warfare: Fritz Haber, who not only revolutionized agriculture with a chemical process for making fertilizer (his Nobel-honored work), but also created and deployed chlorine gas and other chemical agents during World War I.

For background and other information on chemical weapons, see our August In-Depth Report, The Specter of Chemical and Biological Weapons.

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