The history of the Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific, one of the oldest regional inter-governmental organizations dates far back as 1950, when the idea was first conceived to enhance economic and social development of the countries of the region. The Colombo Plan was established on 1 July 1951 by Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom and currently has expanded to include 26 member countries including non-Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). The Colombo Plan is a partnership concept of self-help and mutual-help in development aimed at socio-economic progress of its member countries.
The objectives of the Colombo Plan
- to promote interest in and support for the economic and social development of Asia and the Pacific;
- to promote technical cooperation and assist in the sharing and transfer of technology among member countries;
- to keep under review relevant information on technical cooperation between the member governments, multilateral and other agencies with a view to accelerating development through cooperative effort;
- to facilitate the transfer and sharing of the developmental experiences among member countries within the region with emphasis on the concept of South-south cooperation.
The Drug Advisory Program (DAP)
DAP is part of the Colombo Plan and is the only regional intergovernmental programme exclusively aimed at capacity building for drug demand reduction in the Asia and Pacific Region. During the last three decades the DAP has assisted member counties in initiating the process of policy evolution, in finding appropriate solutions on a bilateral and/or multi-lateral basis and in encouraging national efforts among member countries towards drug demand reduction.
Since its inception, DAP has focused on responding to the changing needs of member countries that face multi-faceted problems in regards to illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse. DAP has embarked on several innovative strategies in six arms.
- Treatment and Rehabilitation
- Special Services for Children
- Supply Reduction and Law Enforcement
- Curriculum Development and Credentialing
- Expert /Advisory
The services in these networks are also extended to non-member countries, keeping up with the Colombo Plan mandate of self-help and mutual-help in development.