uzumcu accepts Nobel Peace Prize for OPCW

Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, accepted the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday on behalf of the OPCW.

During his acceptance speech, uzumcu commended the practical and verifiable results of chemical disarmament. He said the OPCW has been able to cross and link the space in disarmament between passion and practicality, resulting in concrete achievements.

"For sixteen years now, the OPCW has been overseeing the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction," uzumcu said. "Our task is to consign chemical weapons to history forever."

uzumcu said the 190 states that are party to the Chemical Weapons Convention are moving toward the vision of a world free of chemical weapons. He urged the six countries still outside the CWC to join it without conditions or delay.

"Universal adherence to the convention would be the most enduring investment in its integrity - and the best guarantee of its reach," uzumcu said. "We cannot allow the tragedy that befell the people of Ghouta to be repeated."

uzumcu said the CWC gave the world a legacy no future disarmament can afford to ignore. The elements of the legacy include trust-based consensus, broad stakeholder engagement, verification and a commitment to science in the service of security and peace.

"It is this legacy that we must set as the keystone in an ever-widening arch of disarmament," uzumcu said. "Only by building such an arch will we be able to bridge our security and our prosperity. Destiny has ruled that we rid the world of chemical weapons, and that we achieve this in our lifetime. This is our place in history, and this is the future we are creating. A future for which our children and grandchildren can be truly thankful."