Ahmet Uzumcu has received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The OPCW is overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal – their first time working in an ongoing conflict.
Speaking in his hotel room before the ceremony, Uzumcu talked of the risks involved in the Syria operation.
“The movement of our staff is quite risky. So far, they have been able to operate in a safe manner,” he said, adding “We hope that the transportation (of the weapons) phase will be completed in the smoothest manner.”
On the day of his memorial service, Nelson Mandela was also given a special mention at the Oslo ceremony.
“Twenty years ago Nelson Mandela stood on this podium receiving the Nobel Peace Prize together with Frederik de Klerk,” said Chairman of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland. “His victory over apartheid, his refusal to give in to bitterness, and the desire for revenge represent one of the biggest victories of mankind.”
Made up of 189 member states, the OPCW’s principal role is to monitor and destroy all existing chemical weapons.
It administered the Chemical Weapons Convention outlawing the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.
Two non-member, signature states have yet to ratify the convention, while four more, including Egypt and North Korea, have neither signed nor acceded to it.