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Updated: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 06:04:18 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize



FILE - In this Saturday Aug. 31, 2013 file photo released by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, samples brought back by the U.N. chemical weapons inspection team are checked in upon their arrival at The Hague, Netherlands. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, it was announced on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored the Hague, Netherlands-based global chemical watchdog "for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons." (© AP Photo/OPCW, Henry Arvidsson, File)

FILE - In this Saturday Aug. 31, 2013 file photo released by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, samples brought back by the U.N. chemical weapons inspection team are checked in upon their arrival at The Hague, Netherlands. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize, it was announced on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored the Hague, Netherlands-based global chemical watchdog "for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons." (AP Photo/OPCW, Henry Arvidsson, File) Henry Arvidsson/OPCW/Associated Press

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the group overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical-weapons stockpiles, has won the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

The announcement was made Friday morning in Oslo, Norway.

- Past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize

The OPCW, as its known, is an independent international body formed in 1997 to implement a new global treaty prohibiting the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. 

"The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its announcement.

"Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons."

The use of chemical weapons was banned under the 1925 Geneva Convention, but not their manufacture or storage.

Based in the Netherlands, the OPCW has 189 member countries and 500 staff.

It becomes the 22nd organization to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Previous organizations that have won include the Red Cross, the United Nations and, last year, the European Union.  

Prominent figures nominated or favoured to win this year's peace prize included 16-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, whose outspoken advocacy of women's rights and education for girls triggered the homicidal wrath of the Taliban when she was shot in the head last year, and gynecologist Denis Mukwege, celebrated for helping thousands of women who were raped in war-torn Congo.    

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