The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which has been supported by the University of Surrey since its formation, has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The OPCW, based in The Hague, was established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. The University and academics from our Chemical Engineering programme – the oldest continuously running chemical engineering programme in the world - have supported the OPCW’s Associate Programme for 14 years, educating representatives from over 100 countries in basic chemical engineering skills, and the team work and leadership skills that are required to be effective members of their National Authorities.
Professor Norman Kirkby, Director of Research for Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Surrey, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the OPCW has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The work that it undertakes is complex, challenging and has gone largely unrecognised until now. The Chemical Weapons Convention that they oversee has been extremely successful in ensuring the destruction of chemical weapons in the signatory nations.
“The recent atrocities in Syria have highlighted the importance of ridding the world of chemical weapons and international pressure has brought Syria to the brink of signing and ratifying the Convention.
“As a University, we are honoured and proud to have supported the OPCW’s Associate Programme for fourteen years. The University of Surrey has a passion for the peaceful use of chemistry and we are very proud to have assisted the OPCW in ridding the world of chemical weapons. We will continue to offer them our support in carrying out this vital work.”