December 14, 2017

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the award of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to OPCW, 14 October 2013

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus I wish to warmly congratulate the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for receiving the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons. I congratulate in particular the Director General and the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation, as well as the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. The prize is a well-deserved recognition of the exceptional work carried out by the OPCW since its coming into existence in 1997.

In the last 100 years, the use of chemical weapons has caused unspeakable human suffering. As a result of the commitment, professionalism and hard work exhibited by the OPCW, the complete elimination of these abhorrent weapons of mass destruction is now within reach.

Yet as recent events in Syria have exemplified in a tragic manner, the threat of use of chemical weapons remains very real. I take this opportunity to wish the OPCW every success in the historic responsibility that the international community has entrusted upon it, and the UN, in Syria. We have every faith that this Joint Mission will serve, first and foremost, the people of Syria, as well as peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond.

Cyprus is proud to have unreservedly supported the work of the OPCW over the years and I take the opportunity to reiterate our continued support for the goals and work of the Organisation. In this regard, I am pleased that the Republic of Cyprus has already pledged its readiness to host on its territory the support base of the Joint OPCW-UN Mission in Syria.

In expressing once again my heartfelt congratulations, I wish the OPCW continued success for the sake of humankind.