Right Livelihood Award goes to Green Cross’s Paul Walker

The 2013 edition of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award will be presented to Green Cross International’s Dr Paul Walker, director of our Environmental Security and Sustainability (ESS) programme, for his work to rid the world of chemical weapons.

The recognition, known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” will be presented on 2 December 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The prize announcement, made on 26 September 2013, said: “Dr. Paul Walker is one of the most effective advocates for the abolition of chemical weapons. His leadership has helped to safely and verifiably eliminate more than 55,000 metric tons of chemical weapons from six declared national arsenals.”

“He has been key to leveraging over one billion dollars annually in effective programmes for arms control, disarmament, threat reduction and non-proliferation. Paul Walker has engaged government leaders, NGOs, think tanks and citizens’ groups around the world to work towards full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and for a world free from the dangers of chemical weapons.”

In accepting the award, Dr. Walker, who is based in Washginton D.C., said: “I am deeply honored today as a Right Livelihood Award Laureate, and want to share this honor with all of my Green Cross colleagues who have worked so hard over the past two decades to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction — nuclear, chemical, and biological  — and, in particular, to build a world free of chemical weapons and a universal Chemical Weapons Convention.  This award will bring much needed public attention as well to the urgent task of safely eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, and bringing in the other two non-member Mideast countries – Israel and Egypt – under the CWC abolition regime.”

Dr. Walker has helped lead the ESS programme since its inception in the mid-1990s with colleagues from Russia and Switzerland.  He is also manager of the Washington DC office for GCI and its US national affiliate, Global Green USA.  Paul Walker hails from the United States.

Video: Paul Walker describes the Green Cross ESS programme

Dr. Walker is a former Professional Staff Member of the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as a senior advisor to the Chairman and full committee.  Walker holds a Ph.D. in security studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies; a Russian Honors Certificate from the Defense Language Institute of the West Coast; and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.  He is also a Vietnam-era U.S. Army veteran.

“Paul Walker is known for his skills in bringing together and engaging various stakeholders from around the world. For instance, under the auspices of the Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition (CWCC) that Paul Walker coordinates, civil society participation has increased to over 150 NGO registered representatives in the 17th annual CWC Conference of States Parties in November 2012,” the Right Livelihood Award announcement said.

Dr. Walker has worked, spoken, and published widely in the areas of international security, threat reduction, non-proliferation, and weapons demilitarization for over three decades and took part in the first on-site inspection by US officials of the Russian chemical weapons stockpile at Shchuch’ye in the Kurgan Oblast in 1994.   Since that time he has worked closely with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), US and Russian officials, the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, the G-8 Global Partnership, and other multilateral regimes to help foster cooperative, timely, and safe elimination of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and related systems.

In December 2009 at the 14th Conference of the States Parties in The Hague, Paul led the effort to establish the CWC Coalition, an international NGO network to support the Chemical Weapons Convention and OPCW. Paul is also a founding member of the Fissile Material Working Group, which supported the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit.

Some of his articles include Abolishing Chemical Weapons: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities, in Arms Control Today (November 2010) and The legacy of Reykjavik and the future of nuclear disarmament, (with Jonathan Hunt) in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (December 2011).

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