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Nobel to OPCW Seems Not Based on Past Performance, Syria Pre-Gravitas

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 11 -- It's either strange or forward-looking to give the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons. As OPCW embarks on its mission to Syria, agree first by the US and Russia then by the UN Security Council, to some this seem akin to giving Barack Obama the Prize just as he began as US President.

This year, Obama threatened a military strike on Syria without UN Security Council approval, alongside untold deadly drone strikes elsewhere.

Here, the Prize to OPCW seems designed to give it added gravitas if or when it faces hurdles in Syria, or accuses the government of violations. Look for the phrase to be appended: Nobel prize winner.

But earlier this week when the OPCW held a press conference in The Hague, web-cast but unlike the International Monetary Fund not taking questions from journalists online, at the end they couldn't even find a final question they had time for.

Director General Ahmet Uzumcu was in and out of that press conference fast -- some called it "pulling a Ban Ki-moon" in reference to the UN Secretary General's few questions from friendly scribes -- but now presumably he'll have to take more. A press conference is being set up for the Hotel Bel Air in the Hague.

In New York, some wonder if an overnight draft letter by which the UN Security Council will OK Ban's planned mission with the OPCW can or will be amended with a reference to OPCW winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

But the OPCW Executive Council, which whatever Ahmet Uzumcu says would seem to be the body to assert violations or not, by government or rebels, has among its members for example Qatar and Iran and Saudi Arabia. Are THEY getting the Nobel Peace Prize? Watch this site.


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