Nobel Peace Prize goes to anti-chemical weapons watchdog, Malala loses out

Written by Agencies | Oslo | Updated: Oct 11 2013, 20:51pm hrs
NobelMalala Yousufzai came second to Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which is overseeing destruction of Syria's arsenal. (AP)
This year's Nobel Peace Prize went to chemical weapons watchdog the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), "for its extensive efforts" to rid the world of such arsenals, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

"The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law," the committee said. "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."

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girl's education, lost prestigious prize to OPCW despite being favourite contender among experts.

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, which has a strong track record leaking thenames of winners, reported the OPCW's victory more than an hour before the official announcement.

Experts from the Hague-based global chemical weapons watchdog, supported by the United Nations, are working to destroy Syria's massive chemical weapons stockpile after a sarin gas strike in the suburbs of Damascus killed more than 1,400 people in August.

The $1.25 million prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel , who founded the awards in his 1895 will.

The peace prize was the last of the original Nobel Prizes to be announced for this year. The winners of the economics award, added in 1968, will be announced on Monday.

(With inputs from Reuters/AP)