OPCW celebrates collective victory of Nobel Peace Prize

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony on Tuesday thanks to the efforts of 21 international scientific laboratories and staff.

The U.S. based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center support the OPCW's mission of permanently eliminating the threat of chemical weapons. They share in the victory of the OPCW and helped made its work possible.

"I think this award is very special and satisfying to our entire team at LLNL," Armando Alcaraz, a chemist who has led LLNL's OPCW work since 2000, said. "We would like to think that in a small way we have helped contribute to preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons in the world."

The OPCW accepted its award Tuesday at a ceremony in Oslo Norway. All 21 laboratories are required to uphold rigorous testing standard and shared in the victory of the OPCW.

"Our OPCW work, along with the efforts of the other 20 laboratories, provides an important international security capability by helping to verify and ensure compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention," Head of LLNL's Forensic Science Center, which oversees the lab's OPCW program, Brad Hart said. "For an international organization like this to succeed, it is necessary to have cutting-edge technology and expertise that provide confidence in the verification process."

By working together, the OPCW and its Member States hope to secure a world without the threat of chemical weapons.

"The decision by the Nobel Committee to bestow this year's Peace Prize on the OPCW is a great honor for our organization," OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said. "We are a small organization, which for more than 16 years, and away from the glare of international publicity, has shouldered an onerous but noble task: to act as the guardian of the global ban on chemical weapons that took effect in 1997."