35 No. 6
A Heartfelt Congratulations to OPCW
On 11 October 2013, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
This is a great and important recognition for an organization that works so diligently to make the world a safer place. I am humbled to relay IUPAC’s heartfelt congratulations to our OPCW colleagues for this fantastic and well deserved recognition for their tireless work to free the world of chemical weapons. In recent years, IUPAC has been privileged to work with OPCW, both in contributing technical expertise to the review conferences of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and in developing educational resources on the multiple uses of chemicals. As recently as the July-Aug 2013 issue of Chemistry International, Leiv K. Sydnes contributed a feature outlining IUPAC’s involvement with OPCW over the last 12 years. That feature was triggered by the recent IUPAC Technical Report (in the April 2013 Pure and Applied Chemistry) titled “Impact of Scientific Developments on the Chemical Weapons Convention,” (http://dx.doi.org/10.1351/PAC-REP-12-11-18) released in advance of the Third Review Conference of the CWC held last April.
In 2004, the president of IUPAC and the director general of the OPCW agreed on a joint project on chemistry education, outreach, and the professional conduct of chemists; see IUPAC project 2004-048-1-020. As an outcome of this project, the need for peer-reviewed educational materials was clearly identified. In response, a set of web-based materials to be used by educators and students has been created and published online at <www.iupac.org/multiple-uses-of-chemicals> or <http://multiple.kcvs.ca>. The approach was to start with the beneficial uses of chemicals, give examples of the misuse and abuse of chemicals, and then provide basic information about the Chemical Weapons Convention, ending with the need for and examples of existing codes of conduct.
The Nobel recognition to OPCW contributes to validating IUPAC’s mission “to advance the worldwide aspects of the chemical sciences and to contribute to the application of chemistry in the service of Humankind.” Today, I feel proud of being a chemist and helping IUPAC members to take part in these Union activities!
PS: This year-end issue will be the last one to be carefully edited and paginated by my colleague Chris Brouwer. After 12 years of making CI “pubsimple,” Chris is venturing into new communication challenges working at Cornell University. My thanks to you Chris, and best wishes.
last modified 18 December 2013.
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