On 16 June, H.E. Kristīne Našeniece, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia received the ceremonial “Chair’s key” from Hans Koeppel, Chargé d’affaires of Embassy of Germany in Finland, as the HELCOM Chairmanship changes on 1 July 2022 from Germany to Latvia.
The HELCOM Chairmanship rotates every two years, in alphabetical order of the Contracting Parties.
“If the seas are sick, also the humans are suffering“, reminded Mr. Koeppel. German Chairmanship of HELCOM 2020-2022 had as its main goals the adoption of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, reached at the Lübeck Ministerial Meeting in 2021, as well as accelerating and intensifying its implementation.
Mr. Koeppel also pointed out that the regional institutions and organizations like HELCOM, Council of the Baltic Sea States, the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, and the Northern Dimension Institute create important interconnections and support cooperation and support the regional identity.
Ns Našeniece, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia, stated that Latvia takes over the HELCOM Chairmanship under unprecedented circumstances since the signing of the first Helsinki Convention almost 50 years ago. “Latvia faces a big challenge but we are ready to meet our obligation under the Convention“, she said.
Implementation of the updated Baltic Sea Action Plan will also be one of the main priorities of the Latvian Chairmanship.
“We will contribute to strengthening the role of the regional cooperation in the context of international ocean governance, in order to support the achievement of global Sustainable Development Goals, inter alia, for the biodiversity“, concluded the Ambassador.