OPCW GETS THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2013: A WELL-TIMED DECISION

By means of the present award to the OPCW, the Committee is seeking to contribute to the elimination of chemical weapons.
Thorbjorn Jagland, Chairman, Norwegian Nobel Committee
Oslo, October 11, 2013

Okay, so a logical decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in deciding on the OPCW, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international watchdog entrusted with the arduous task of freeing the world from the chemical weapons.

Accorded sanctity and authority by the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international treaty that came into force in 1997, OPCW has been working to stop production and use of chemical weapons and to destroy the existing stockpile.

Organizations like OPCW or IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog and the recipient of 2005 Peace Nobel) are the silent warriors working tirelessly for global peace.

Though a well-deserved accolade for the body of work the organization represents, OPCW did not make for headlines as a major Peace Nobel contender. And so it was a pleasant surprise for anyone who knows about the work of the organization and its recent tough and dangerous mission in Syria. Their convoy in Syria has come under attack during inspection visit in September.

OPCW is in news for its collaborative work with the United Nations in destroying the chemical weapons stockpile of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

The world saw the horror of the use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb through the video footage released by the Syrian opposition. The validity of the video clips was authenticated by many intelligence agencies. The major ones held the Assad regime responsible. A tough military action could only be avoided because of the Russian ploy to save Assad. The dictator in Vladimir Putin went to the extra mile to defend the dictator in Bashar al-Assad.

The result is the compromise – Syria ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention and agreeing to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile by the international experts from the OPCW and the UN.

Peace Nobel to OPCW is the recognition of the work done over the years but the decision is certainly influenced by the Syrian context.

It is the call to be on the process to restore the sanctity of ‘Humanity First’.

It is an endorsement to promote the policies of global peace. It is the appreciation to the commitment to make the world a better place. It is a message to the countries still sitting over their stockpiles.

It is an encouragement to continue with the work, because the world is still facing the threat of thousands of tons of existing chemical weapons that like the nuclear weapons, can wipe out the humanity.

Though with Syria, the Chemical Weapons Convention now has 190 countries as its signatories, there are countries yet to destroy their chemical weapons including Russia and the Unites States. Then there are belligerent war-mongering nations like North Korea.

And no one can say there would not be another Adolf Hitler tomorrow armed with some Holocaust like ideology to threaten the mass extinction of civilizations.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

HERE COME(S) THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2013 RECIPIENT(S)

Nobel Prize session is reaching its climax with the much awaited annual event of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement today.

Though there is buzz around every category of Nobel Prize and it builds up to the global outreach level with the Prize announcement season kicking off but with the Nobel Peace Prize, the visibility of ‘who and why’ discourse on the possible Nobel Peace Prize recipient witnesses a manifold jump.

It is recognition to the importance of the Nobel Peace Prize in the hallowed Nobel Prize league.

Another recognition to the global significance of the Nobel Peace Prize is the regular controversy on the ‘who and why’ discourse on who got it.

Many Peace Nobel decisions have been geopolitically sensitive (positively) and so have been controversial for they endorse the work of activists and organizations in world’s most oppressive regimes, some of them being large and powerful nations.

China’s displeasure and efforts to thwart the Nobel Peace Prize to Dalai Lama or Liu Xiaobo or Iran’s critical stand on Peace Nobel to Shirin Ebadi are some of many such instances.

On part of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, last few years have seen balanced decisions except in 2009 when Barack Obama, an African American, was announced the recipient for raising hopes with his ascension as the President of the world’s most powerful nation. Four years on, the decision still remains in the grey area of debates.

Let’s see who wins the Peace Nobel this year. Like always, there have been analyses and discourses.

One name that figures in every discourse is Malala Yousafzai. But choosing her now may become a decision like 2009.

Malala, 16, is an education activist who rose to the global prominence after Taliban militants shot her in Pakistan for defying the dictat to ban schooling for girls. Like Obama, her ascension to the global stage raises hopes. She has become a forceful symbolism.

But any decision to decide on her should come after some significant body of work behind this symbolism, a must to build on the prospect of the Malala symbolism.

Then there are other names like Denis Mukwege, a doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo for his humanitarian work in a hostile environment of a civil-war torn nation; Memorial, the Russian rights groups, a regular contender in last few years, and the Russian activists; Guatemala’s first female attorney Claudia Paz y Paz for her work against organized crime and political corruption; and Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower in the list of 259 nominees of this year.

My pick would be the Russian activists because they have been a constant voice of protest against an increasingly dominating and ruthless Vladimir Putin, indisputably the world’s most powerful dictator capable enough to affect and subvert decisions to let the humanity remain suppressed and crushed like he is doing by helping the Assad government in Syria, like he is doing by incarcerating the voices of dissent in Russia. And he is doing this all in the name of democracy.

He is to be denounced at every possible platform and a Peace Nobel decision to the Russian activists would be a fitting symbolic reply to the democratically elected dictator. It may not affect Mr. Putin in real terms but it will certainly encourage the voices of dissent to build on their work.

But, let’s wait till tomorrow to deliberate on the ‘who and why’ discourse of the Norwegian Nobel Committee decision on the Nobel Peace Prize 2013.

Let’s see who is going to be the next Peace Nobel Laureate.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/