Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM 50 years

MOTION video

50th anniversary celebration

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Convention and HELCOM, Latvia, currently holding the Chairmanship of HELCOM, hosted a celebration on 25 April 2024 in Riga. The event was preceded by a Ministerial Meeting of the Contracting Parties in the morning of the same day.

The guests, including representatives of the HELCOM Contracting Parties, observers and other friends of HELCOM past and present, enjoyed a special programme reflecting on the achievements of the first 50 years of HELCOM while looking forward to future challenges. The list of keynote speakers can be found here. The event was invitation only but the recording of the online streaming will shortly be made available.

Please find here the full programme, all the speeches and pre-recorded messages, as well as the recording of the online streaming of the event.

Please click here for reviewing the short bios and photos of the opening and keynote speakers.

Many registered participants sent their congratulations for the 50 year old organization – please see a selection here.

Video gallery

Videos from the event can be viewed in the HELCOM YouTube Channel, as well as via links inserted in the Programme page.

Photo gallery

See more photos of the HELCOM 50th anniversary on Flickr


Proud past, promising future – Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Convention

The Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area – also known as the Helsinki Convention – was originally signed in 1974 by all Baltic Sea coastal countries. The agreement aimed to address the increasing environmental challenges arising from industrialization and other human activities, which were having a severe impact on the marine environment.

The original Convention was signed in Helsinki on 22 March 1974 by its then seven Contracting Parties (Denmark, Finland, Federal Republic of Germany, German Democratic Republic, Poland, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). In the same year, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – also known as the “Helsinki Commission” or “HELCOM” – was established. For five decades, we have worked towards realizing our vision: a healthy Baltic Sea environment with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status and supporting a wide range of sustainable economic and social activities.

Signing of the Helsinki Convention in 1974.

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Mock Employee
Laura Meski

Associate Professional Secretary
HELCOM Secretariat

Mock Employee
Johanna Laurila

Communications Advisor
HELCOM Secretariat
+358 40 647 3996