The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been named the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
For the second year in a row, the name of the winner was leaked early. Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported early on Friday morning that this year's award would go to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, defying odd-makers who had predicted that it would go to Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai. NRK correctly the predicted that the European Union would win last year's prize, despite the highly secretive nature of the committee's work.
The OPCW is tasked with destroying the chemical weapons that belong to Syria, but as many people were quick to point out, they haven't actually accomplished that task yet. (However, the Nobel spokespeople insisted that the award was given for their overall body of work, not what they've done in Syria.) Others have also noted the irony that OPCW has won the award in 2013, the first year in decades that chemical weapons were deployed in battle on a large scale. The committee itself even pointed out that the United States and Russia have yet not destroyed all of their own chemical weapons, despite signing the treaty that created the OPCW and demanded that countries disarm.
It seems that once again, the Nobel committee (despite their official stance stating otherwise) decided to use the award as a symbolic gesture and a hopeful reminder of what needs to be done, as much as a recognition of past achievements.
Here are the names of all the other Nobel winners, announced earlier this week. A list of all previous Peace Prize winners can be found here.
Monday, October 7
Physiology or Medicine: James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Südhof
Tuesday, October 8
Physics: François Englert and Peter Higgs
Wednesday, October 9
Chemistry: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel
Thursday, October 10
Literature: Alice Munro
Friday, October 11
Peace: Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
Monday, October 14
Economic Sciences: 1:00 p.m. CET at the earliest (7:00 a.m. EDT)
Reprinted with permission from the Atlantic Wire. The original story can be found here.