New Delhi, Feb 10 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the 42nd Consultative Committee Meeting (CCM) of Colombo Plan here today.
Over 150 delegates from 26 Member Countries and other 33 Observer Countries and Organizations are expected to participate in the meeting.
India had earlier hosted the Consultative Committee Meetings in 1953 and 1972.
The purpose of the Colombo Plan is co-operative economic development in South and South-East Asia. Again, as its motto "Planning Prosperity Together" declares, the Colombo Plan is a collaborative effort of nations to bring about the well-being of people through self-help and mutual-help of countries in the region.
The idea of launching the Colombo Plan germinated at a meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers in Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in January 1950, where the Ministers concentrated their attention on the needs of South and South-East Asia and the strategies to address them.
The final communiqué emphasized the need for the furtherance of economic development in the area.
The recommendations inter alia included to establish a Consultative Committee "to focus world attention on the development problems of the area and to provide a framework within which an international co-operative effort could be promoted".
The Colombo Plan grew from the group of seven Commonwealth nations - Australia, UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand and Pakistan - into an international organization of 26, including non-commonwealth nations.
The current member countries are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA and Vietnam. (ANI)