The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the watchdog responsible for preventing the use of chemical weapons. 

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), is working to destroy Syria’s massive chemical weapons stockpile after a sarin gas strike in the suburbs of Damascus killed more than 1,400 people in August.

The $1.25 million prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.

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In August over 1,400 people were gassed to death in the suburbs of Damascus and now the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the watchdog tasked with destroying chemical weapons

In August over 1,400 people were gassed to death in the suburbs of Damascus and now the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the watchdog tasked with destroying chemical weapons

 

 
Malala Yousafzai, 16, was shot in the head on a school bus by the Taliban for championing women's right to education and was widely tipped to win the award

Malala Yousafzai, 16, was shot in the head on a school bus by the Taliban for championing women’s right to education and was widely tipped to win the award

 

The news will come as a disappointment to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and her supporters, as she was widely tipped to win.

The 16-year-old who moved to Birmingham after she was shot in the head by the Taliban for championing girls’ right to education.

A petition for Malala to be short-listed attracted more than half a million signatures from across the globe.

On Thursday, the teenager was awarded the European Union’s highest human rights honour, the Sakharov Award, whose previous recipients have included past Nobel prize winners the former South African president Nelson Mandela and Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi.

 
The OPCW is tasked with upholding the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits the production and use of chemical weapons

The OPCW is tasked with upholding the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits the production and use of chemical weapons 

Malala has earned plaudits across the world for her bravery and determination since recovering from a failed assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban in October last year in which she was shot in the head as she travelled with classmates on a school bus.

Only because of emergency medical treatment in Pakistan, and an airlift to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, did she survive the attack.

Since the age of 11, Malala has campaigned for the right to education for girls in her country – something the Taliban has strongly opposed.

Despite the attempt on her life, she has continued to champion children’s access to the classroom.

She now claims that her ambition is to become Prime Minister after her dreams of winning the Nobel Prize were quashed.

In August the world was shocked by images of thousands of pale bodies, many of them children, beamed across the globe following a sarin nerve gas attack in Damascus.

Warheads landed in the suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar just before dawn, meaning many of the victims died in their beds.

Since then the Syrian rebels and government have pointed the finger of blame at one another, while Russia and the US have agreed a peace plan which will see the destruction of President Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile.

The OPCW have been handed the task, which they say could take months to complete.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS ENFORCERS – THE OPCW

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    WARNING: DANGEROUS CHEMICALS

    Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – or OPCW – are the watchdog responsible for enforcing the Chemical Weapons Convention

  • Convention prohibits development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons. Coming into force in 1997, it was the first treaty to outlaw an entire class of weapons.
  • The OPCW has conducted more than 5,000 inspections in 86 countries. It says 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been inventoried and verified. According to its statistics 81.1 per cent of the world’s declared stockpile of chemical agents have been destroyed.
  • The OPCW is funded by its member states and had a budget of 74million euros in 2011. It employs some 500 people in The Hague. The director-general is Turkish diplomat Ahmet Uzumcu.
 

 

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