World Council of Churches' general secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, has congratulated the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for recognition of its life-saving work on elimination of chemical weapons, especially in Syria, through the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize 2013.
In a letter issued by the WCC late last week, Dr Tveit called the award “timely and compelling”.
“It is timely because we have just seen at first hand the human suffering and trauma of chemical weapons use in Syria. Today the victims of chemical weapons in Syria, Iran and other countries are recognized along with the organization set up to help end such tragedies,” he said.
Dr Tveit went on to say that since World War II, member churches of the WCC have joined “people of good will and the vast majority of governments in calling for all weapons of mass destruction to be eliminated.”
Such bans, the WCC chief said, are an essential test of the international rule of law, which is a “test yet to be passed”.
The Nobel Peace Prize for the OPCW, Dr Tveit added, gives “hope that the same leading nations who responded so quickly when chemical weapons were used in Syria will begin to show similar leadership over their own nuclear arsenals which are the world’s worst weapons, and which have still not been banned.”