A great honor.

That's what the director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is calling his group's 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

The group won the award for overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

At a press conference in the Netherlands, Ahmed Uzumcu thanked the world for its support but said there's still much work to be done.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AHMED UZUMCU, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, SAYING:

"I truly hope that this award and the OPCW's ongoing mission, together with United Nations in Syria, will have broader efforts to achieve peace in that country and end the suffering of its people."

The OPCW dispatched its experts to Syria after a sarin gas attack killed more than 1,400 people in August.

Their deployment, supported by the United Nations, helped avert a U.S. strike against President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian National Coalition spokesman Khaled Saleh called the award ironic.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN NATIONAL COALITION SPOKESMAN KHALED SALEH, SAYING:

"I don't think giving this Nobel Peace Prize to the chemical weapons watchdog, I don't think it's going to give peace any chance in Syria. The reality of it is, we want to see Syrian people free but we don't want to see Assad run free from justice."

French President Francois Hollande, a strong opponent of the Syrian government, said the Nobel committee was sending a message with the award.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING:

"This message is linked to what has unfortunately happened in Syria and the role of this organisation to now destroy the chemical weapons stockpiles. This is also a message to everything that concerns proliferation, not just chemical but also nuclear."

The mission to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons is expected to continue through at least the middle of next year.