Nobel Peace Prize-winning group includes ex-Winnipegger

There's a Winnipeg connection to this year's Nobel Peace Prize: a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which received the prestigious honour on Friday, is Scott Cairns, a graduate of the University of Manitoba.
Scott Cairns, a former Winnipegger, is among a group of UN chemical weapons inspectors in Syria. (Associated Press)

There's a Winnipeg connection to the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical-weapons stockpiles, was named the winner of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

The group is an independent international body formed in 1997 to implement a new global treaty prohibiting the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. 

The man leading the OPCW's team of investigators in Syria right now is Scott Cairns, a former Winnipegger and a graduate of the University of Manitoba.

"Having some small role in ridding the world of these weapons particularly in a conflict area where they have been used is something I think is very important," Cairns recently told CBC News in an interview.

Bill Cairns, Scott's father, said he found out the good news from reading on Friday morning.

"Well, we were always thrilled with his work. The Nobel Prize comes as a complete surprise. It's just unbelievable," he said.

Cairns said he had not spoken to his son since the news broke, as Scott is still in Syria.

Scott Cairns said in the recent interview that ridding Syria of all its chemical weapons will be "very difficult."


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