Colombo Plan Press Release

The Colombo Plan celebrates its 63rd Anniversary on 1 July 2014. Recently, it also welcomed its 6th Secretary-General, Mr. Kinley Dorji from Bhutan. Mr. Dorji has extensive experience and knowledge in youth work and community oriented service. He has held high ranking positions in Bhutan such as the Executive Director of Bhutan Youth Development Fund, Nazhoen Pelri Youth Centre, Director of the Department of Human Resources, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Executive Director of Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency and Director of Department of Youth Sports, Ministry of Education.

Mr. Dorji has experience working with the Colombo Plan. He was responsible for the establishment of the Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency in 2006. The Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency is the focal point of the Colombo Plan’s Drug Advisory Programme. The Colombo Plan’s Drug Advisory Programme was set up during the time of increasing problem of drug abuse in the 1970s.  It is the first international organization to conduct training for addiction professionals and remains the leading organization in the region to do so. In February 2009, the Asian Centre for Certification and Education of Addiction Professionals (ACCE) was set up as the training and credentialing arm of the Drug Advisory Programme. Recently the name of ACCE was changed to International Centre for Certification and Education of Addiction Professonals (ICCE) to encompass its presence in Africa.

The Colombo Plan continues on its mission of education and training. What began as a development plan in 1951 has over the years provided benefit to its developing member countries in infrastructure development, technical training and education. Health, agriculture, science and technology and social sciences are some of the fields of study of the Colombo Plan Scholar, which assisted in the socio-economic development of the member countries. More recently, drug demand reduction education, education and development of professionals in public administration and private sector growth are some of its key activities, which have supported capacity development and growth in its member countries.

In other spheres of activity, the Colombo Plan has been working on gender issues and development since 2007 by facilitating transit shelter for women. In the effort of increasing awareness on gender equality and gender development, the Colombo Plan in May 2014 established the Gender Affairs Programme.

Some of the objectives of the Gender Affairs Programme are to raise awareness on women’s legal rights, raise funds on gender capacity building and direct empowerment such as income generating programmes, education programmes and health programmes.

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