(for Cooperative Economic Development in South and South-East Asia) An international organization of 24 countries, established to assist the development of member countries in the Asian and Pacific regions. Based on an Australian initiative at the meeting of Commonwealth ministers in Colombo in January 1950, it was originally intended to serve Commonwealth countries of the region. The scheme was later extended to cover 26 countries, with the USA and Japan as major donors; Britain and Canada left in 1991 and 1992 respectively. In 1977 its title was changed to the ‘Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific’ following the withdrawal of several south-east Asian nations that had adopted communism.
Subjects: World History.