When Worlds Collide #87: Nobel Peace Prize – Saluting peace-makers or stirring political controversy?

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday broadsheet newspaper on 13 October 2013

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The Nobel Peace Prize 2013 was awarded on Friday to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

This Hague based inter-governmental organisation was recognised for implementing — through inspections, destruction and by other means — the Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control treaty in effect from 1997 and singed by 165 countries.

In the past, the Norwegian Nobel Committee – which administers the Prize — has through several prizes highlighted the need to eliminate nuclear weapons as well as landmines. With the 2013 decision, it has lent support to the global campaign to end the production and use of chemical weapons.

There were 259 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize 2013, 50 of them organizations. These included the Pakistani schoolgirl activist

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