Recalling the "burning, blinding and suffocating" horrors of chemical weapons, the head of a watchdog trying to consign them to history accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday.
Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said such toxic tools of warfare have an "especially nefarious legacy," from the trenches of World War I to the poison gas attacks in Syria this year.
"You cannot see them. You cannot smell them. And they offer no warning for the unsuspecting," Uzumcu said as he collected the $1.2 million award in Oslo on behalf of the group.
"And we only need to look at the fate of the survivors of such attacks - people destined to spend the rest of their lives suffering unbearable physical and psychological pain - to understand why such weapons must be banned," he added.
The OPCW was formed to enforce a 1997 international convention outlawing chemical weapons. It worked largely out of the limelight until this year, when it received its most challenging mission to date: overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.
The Nobel Peace Prize was announced on Oct. 11, just days before Syria officially joined the OPCW as its 190th member state.