In a rare and momentous occasion of the first visit to CPSC of the Secretary General of the Colombo Plan Secretariat Mr. Kinley Dorji, the Colombo Plan Staff College, led by the Acting Director General, Dr. G. Kulanthaivel, welcomed the delegation from Sri Lanka on December 7, 2015.
The Colombo Plan is the mother institution of CPSC and is an international organization established in 1951 in a cooperative mission to strengthen the economic and social development of the nations in Asia and the Pacific. Subsequently, CPSC was established in 1973 when the 26 member countries of the Colombo Plan recognized the need for a regional training center to improve technical education and training. CPSC cooperates with the Colombo Plan in pursuing its purpose and functions to promote technical cooperation and transfer of technology among the member countries.
The visit happened at a very auspicious time which follows the celebration of CPSC's 42nd year anniversary. The Colombo Plan Secretariat's delegation included Ms. Glorie Pasa, Program Officer for the Drug Advisory Program and Mr. Sankha Gamage, Senior Program Officer. None other than the CPSC Governing Board Chairman H.E. Kok Li Peng, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore and Atty. Teodoro Pascua, former, GB Chairman and Deputy Director General for TESD Operations of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippines graced the welcome ceremonies to honor the Secretary General.
In her opening remarks, H.E. Kok Li Peng encouraged both organizations to look into more ways to forge a stronger relationship by exploring mutual areas of cooperation. She also cited the proud origins of both organizations, and reaffirmed Singapore's commitment in advancing human resources development in the region, with the country's experience being a role model to other nations.
Her response was seconded by Atty. Pascua, in which he anchored his response to the growing demand for skilled workers in the world and the relevance of development agencies in spearheading the changes necessary to make them adaptable to the requirements of globalization and the expanding needs of employers. He expressed his positive remarks on the mission of both agencies: "to plan prosperity together" and hoped that this will enable both agencies to create more initiatives and programs for the further improvement of the labor force.
In his privilege address, Mr. Dorji cited that coming to CPSC is similar to "coming back to meet family members", citing the fruitful relationship of both agencies. He also cited the initiatives that Colombo Plan has done through the years from the long-term scholarship programs to its drug advocacy program. He discussed that the need of the member countries is to reinforce its capability building advocacy through encouraging "self-help" mechanisms that will eventually translate into an inclusive prosperity. He identified possible areas for increased collaboration particularly on consultancy and training programs, in which CPSC can design the programs and provide the necessary support and logistics. In particular, he cited that entrepreneurship development, with focus on the small and medium enterprises is one of the areas in which both agencies can collaborate on a cost-sharing basis.
Mr. Dorji expressed his appreciation to CPSC's achievements in the past years and hopes for a strong and vigorous relationship between the two agencies working side-by-side to achieve common aspirations for the region's workforce.