Friday, October 11, 2013

Nobel Peace Prize 2013

Today, the Nobel Committee awarded a Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In a statement released on their website today, OPCW outlined their mission: 'to act as the guardian of the global ban on chemical weapons that took effect in 1997... We have since then worked with quiet determination to rid the world of these heinous weapons – weapons which have been used to horrific effect throughout the twentieth century, and, sadly, in our own time too.' It is likely that recent events in Syria had some bearing on the selection of OPCW as this year's winner. The Nobel Prize website notes that in giving this award, 'the Committee is seeking to contribute to the elimination of chemical weapons'.

A few of the other nominees that were in contention:
  • Denis Mukwege - A doctor in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has spent years treating women gang-raped and tortured during the civil war. Last year he was the target of an assassination attempt but managed to escape.
  • Malala Yousafzai - A Pakistani girl shot in the head by Taliban militants for encouraging girls to receive an education. She was touted by many as a favourite to win the award.
  • Edward Snowden - An NSA whistleblower, who brought to public attention surveillance programs by the US and British governments. Snowden has managed to elude US authorities thus far.
  • Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning - A US soldier who leaked secret documents to website WikiLeaks. He has been sentenced to 35 years in jail.
Though not of all these are health-related, it is worth us noting the work and impact of many of these individuals or organizations. Hopefully they can serve as inspiration to us as we work towards our goal this year and in the future.

- Sarah


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