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Award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): Statement of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

European Commission - IP/13/940   11/10/2013

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 11 October 2013

Award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW): Statement of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

"On behalf of the European Commission I would like to convey our sincere congratulations to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2013.

The decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is a powerful recognition of the important role of the OPCW in curbing the use of chemical weapons. The EU is determined to assist in the destruction of the stock of chemical weapons.

About 100 years ago, during World War I, Europe has experienced the suffering caused by the use of chemical weapons itself. Syria now demonstrates that these abhorrent acts are still not eradicated from human behaviour. The OPCW faces an unprecedented challenge in its current effort in Syria, where its joint mission with the United Nations is being actively supported by the European Union.

The international community carries a collective responsibility to end the use of chemical weapons once and for all. The OPCW plays a key role in this collective effort, which the European Union fully supports, politically and by being the biggest contributor to OPCW.

In the light of many worrying developments over the last year, the European Union will continue to work tirelessly for peace and reconciliation, for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights and offer concrete support and solidarity to those people and countries in need."

Background:

In 2012, the European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

Committed to keep making the difference for children who need special care to overcome the consequences of conflict, the EU Children of Peace initiative will continue beyond its first year. In 2014, the European Commission intends to increase its funding for education of children in conflict zones – a new symbol of the European Union's dedication promoting real, lasting peace where it is so badly needed. Read more about the state of play of the EU's Children of Peace initiative: MEMO/13/876

In October 2013 the EU has decided to fully meet the OPCW request and provide ten new armoured cars to support its mission in Syria. The EU is also supplying detailed maps for the mission. Further EU assistance is being considered depending on the needs.

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Jens Mester (+32 2 296 39 73)


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