The Colombo Plan focuses on the development of human resources in the south and southeast Asia. It is an intergovernmental organization that was held in Colombo, Ceylan (which is now Sri Lanka). The Colombo Plan has a host country agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka which forms a memorandum of understanding that includes immunities and privileges which are given out by the Sri Lankan Government.
The Colombo Plan officially began operations in 1951 on July 1st. It was created and conceived at the international Commonwealth Conference on Foreign Affairs that was held in what is now Sri Lanka. In 1950, it began with the finance ministers of the UK, Canada, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Pakistan, New Zealand, and Australia. There are now over 28 governments that are included in the Colombo plan. Between 1950 and 1983, 72$ worth of funding has been given to the organization, of which USD 41 billion was funded by the United States.
Over the years since its founding, the concept of human resource development needed to be reviewed and put in the spotlight. The Colombo Plan has shifted to take into account the needs of its member countries, especially as technological advancements have created an accelerated economic impact on those nations.
The Colombo Plan has implemented six different programs throughout the years, which have shaped the way it has moved forward. In 1951, which was the program's inception, the focus was on education for those who are economically disadvantaged. This began the Long-Term Scholarships Programme which used donated funds collected by the organization to help children, adolescents and adults to learn the skills necessary to become employed via higher education.
In 1973, the second program was opened, which focused on the growing global drug epidemic. The Drug Advisory Programme was created to inform the public about drug trafficking, as a way to both combat and further prevent the allure to join cartels and other adjacent behaviour. Sri Lanka and all member nations were all vulnerable at this time, as drug trafficking was prominent both in developed and underdeveloped countries, either for labor or as a secondary market for sale and resale.
In 1995, the organization launched two programs, the Programme for Private Sector Development and the Programme for Public Administration & Environment. Of course, global macroeconomic factors were focused on a shifting economy toward a more technological and digital landscape. this meant that funding was needed for both the education and development of private businesses, while also trying to minimize the risk posed to the public at large, holding public servants and corporate magnates accountable for their actions.
In 2014, the Gender Affairs Programme was established as the world was noticing a focus on gender equality and expression. Increased violence towards minorities presented an opportunity to educate member countries about equal access to resources and labor.
The most recent program was introduced in 2016, named the Programme for Environment and Climate Change. With the growing issue of fossil fuel burning and the current energy crisis, every nation should now have equal access to alternative and clean energy sources.
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