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IARU Administrative Council Addresses Wide-Ranging Agenda in Virtual Meeting

The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its annual meeting on 8 – 10 October 2020. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

Originally planned to take place in Novi Sad, Serbia, just before the IARU Region 1 Conference in that city, both the AC meeting and the conference had to be held virtually owing to covid-19 travel restrictions. The virtual meeting format had the benefit of allowing participation by additional observers from the regional organizations and real-time presentations of reports to the AC from the specialized IARU coordinators and advisors.

Recently appointed EMC Coordinator Dr. Martin Sach, G8KDF, reported on what is being done on behalf of the IARU in CISPR, the International Special Committee on Radio Interference. Martin and his predecessor, Tore Worren, LA9QL, continue to work together to address the need for reasonable standards to limit the increasing threat of radio spectrum pollution from proliferating digital devices and wireless power transmission.

IARU Beacon Project Coordinator Peter Jennings, AB6WM/VE3SUN, reported on the status of the HF time-shared beacon network that is supported by the Northern California DX Foundation and the IARU. He explained recent and planned upgrades and the many applications and uses being made of the network. 

Satellite Advisor Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, described the work of the Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel. Steps are being taken to address the growing number of non-amateur satellites using amateur-satellite spectrum.

Special Advisor for Emergency Communications Rod Stafford, W6ROD, explained his work representing the IARU in the ITU Development Sector (ITU‑D), particularly with regard to disaster communications, and preparations for the World Telecommunication Development Conference scheduled for November 2021. He highlighted an opportunity to promote amateur radio in ITU‑D as a training platform for youth.

Preparations are already underway for the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), currently expected to be held in 2023. A team of some 20 IARU volunteers from all continents led by IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, is engaged in the preparatory processes of the ITU and the regional telecommunications organizations (RTOs). The AC reviewed a draft of preliminary IARU positions on the WRC-23 agenda items of concern to the amateur and amateur-satellite services. The Action Plan for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 was reviewed; it will be subject to continual adjustment in response to the continuing impact of the pandemic on international travel.

In 2019 a committee was formed to address the growing pressure on amateur spectrum allocations, particularly the secondary allocations, at 144 MHz and above. The committee reported on its work to date in defining present and future spectrum requirements. Additional information will be sought from the amateur community on how this spectrum is being utilized.

The AC received and discussed an in-depth report from its Working Group on the Future of IARU and agreed to steps for evolving toward a more flexible organization and strengthened relationships with all stakeholders in the global amateur radio community and telecommunications ecosystem.

An application for IARU membership from the Amateur Radio Union of the Kyrgyz Republic was received and will be submitted to the member-societies for approval.

Noting the many ways that the global amateur radio community has responded positively to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the AC agreed to develop a related theme for World Amateur Radio Day, 18 April 2021.

AC members attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional representatives Don Beattie, G3BJ, Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, George Gorsline, VE3YV, Wisnu Widjaja, YB0AZ, and Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP. Participating as observers were regional executive committee members Sylvain Azarian, F4GKR, Mats Espling, SM6EAN, Jose Arturo Molina, YS1MS, Jay Bellows, K0QB, and Peter Young, VK3MV, and IARU Assistant Secretary Joel Harrison, W5ZN.

Additional virtual meetings of the AC will be scheduled in the coming months. It is hoped that an in-person meeting can be held in October 2021.

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