The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international chemical weapons watchdog, mainly because of its work in helping to eliminate the Syrian army's stockpile of poison gas.
The Nobel Peace Prize, which is the most highly celebrated of all the Nobel Prizes, has been awarded to 125 Nobel Laureates since 1901. Winners are selected by a committee of five people who are chosen by the Norwegian Storting, the Parliament of Norway.
Alfred Nobel is the Swedish chemist, engineer and inventor (of dynamite) who established the Nobel Prizes. He was interested in social issues and engaged in the peace movement. Nobel listed in his will that he wished for the bulk of his estate to go toward establishing the Nobel Prizes.
Take a look at past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as the reason the award was given, as provided by Nobelprize.org.
2012: European Union (EU). The EU "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."
2011: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman. The award was given jointly to the three women "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."
2010: Liu Xiaobo. The professor and human right activist was given the award "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."
2009: President Barack H. Obama. The President earned the honor "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
2008: Martti Ahtisaari. The former President of Finland and UN diplomat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts."
2007: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore Jr. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Gore and the IPCC "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
2006: Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank. The lauded economist and the bank were awarded the prize jointly "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."
2005: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei. The agency and ElBaradei were jointly given the award "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way."
2004: Wangari Muta Maathai. Kenyan Wangari Maathai was awarded the prize "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace."
2003: Shirin Ebadi. Ebadi was the first Muslim woman to win a Peace Prize "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children."
Click here to get a full list of Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
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