Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM’s 50th anniversary: stellar lineup of speakers unveiled

Joining the distinguished roster of speakers for the commencement of HELCOM’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Riga, Latvia on 25 April 2024 are:

  • Pekka Haavisto, Member of the Parliament of Finland.
  • Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
  • Leena Ylä-Mononen, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency.
  • Alan Haynie, General Secretary of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Hosted by Latvia, which currently holds the Chairmanship of HELCOM, the event will be opened by the Ministers of the Environment of Latvia and Finland, Inga Bērziņa and Kai Mykkänen.

You can also participate in the festive event online by registering here (provided link). The event will take place on Thursday 25 April 2024, from 14:30 to 18:45 (EET).

The 2024 Ministerial Meeting on the Baltic Sea Marine Environment will convene in the morning of 25 April 2024, preceding the 50th anniversary celebrations. Additionally, a side event called “Waves of Change – Accelerating action and finance to save the Baltic Sea,” organized by Coalition Clean Baltic and WWF, is scheduled to take place in Riga the day before on 24 April 2024.

Invited guests onsite include representatives from the HELCOM Contracting Parties, observers, and other past and present associates of HELCOM. The programme highlights the achievements over the past 50 years, while also addressing future challenges. You can access the preliminary programme on the dedicated web page.

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In 2024, it will be 50 years since the original Helsinki Convention was signed.

HELCOM, or the Helsinki Commission, was established at the same time, for the purposes of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area – in essence, to ensure that all the coastal states pursue the many commitments presented for a healthier Baltic Sea. It was a historical moment, as environmental concerns were only starting to shift closer to the mainstream thinking.

HELCOM is a true pioneer in international environmental protection. As the awareness of the massive challenges, particularly climate crisis and biodiversity loss, has since significantly risen, we have much to share about cooperation through changing geopolitical situations.

Join us for a full year of celebrations! We are proud to have come this far.