12 September 2018
For immediate release
IARU Administrative Council Meeting Focuses on WRC-19 Preparation and Succession Planning
The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its annual in-person meeting on 8 and 9 September 2018 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, immediately prior to the IARU Region 3 Conference. 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.
With the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) now little more than a year away, the efforts of two dozen IARU volunteers to defend amateur radio’s frequency allocations against commercial pressures and to seek worldwide harmonization of the 50-54 MHz band are reaching a critical stage. Coordination of this team is an ongoing task leading up to the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting in Geneva in February 2019 and to WRC-19 itself in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, in October and November. The work involves presenting the IARU positions on the WRC-19 agenda items to national administrations through the IARU member-societies and actively participating in the ongoing preparations being done in regional telecommunications organizations and the ITU Radiocommunication Sector. The potential for crippling levels of interference to radiocommunications from High Power Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) for electric vehicles is high on the list of concerns.
With these challenges in mind the AC reviewed its strategic plan to develop support for amateur spectrum allocations and approved the action plan for implementation during the remainder of 2018 and 2019. To resource the plan, the IARU budget for the years 2019-2021 was reviewed and adopted. The budget is based upon anticipated financial contributions from the IARU International Secretariat (IS) and the three regional organizations and reflects ongoing efforts to minimize expenses while maintaining the essential activities for achievement of the plan.
The IARU Constitution and Administrative Council policies define the process for filling the positions of IARU President and Vice President for five-year terms. Member-societies and the three IARU regional organizations are invited to participate in identifying qualified candidates for consideration in a consultative process between the AC and the member-society acting as the International Secretariat (IS), currently the ARRL. This process for the terms of office beginning on 9 May 2019 was initiated at the 2017 meeting of the AC and completed at the 2018 meeting. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, formally reported that there was consensus that the incumbent President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, should be nominated for an additional term. These nominations will be submitted to the IARU member-societies for ratification by mail vote.
Looking to the future, the AC recognized the importance and urgency of succession planning and assigned it an immediate and high priority.
Individuals with the qualifications, skills, and willingness to fill volunteer technical and leadership positions must be identified on an ongoing basis in order to maintain the availability of essential personnel resources. Training must be provided so that the volunteer team can function effectively in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.
The growth of amateur radio, especially how to attract young people, is a common concern of IARU member-societies. The AC will set out to identify those barriers to growth that the IARU can assist member-societies to address and will encourage member-societies to share successful strategies for growth with one another.
The AC noted with pleasure that considerable progress has been made to develop consistent branding across the IARU and its three regional organizations and thanked the team that has been working on a common design for the four websites. The design was agreed and plans are underway for implementation in the coming months.
The IARU policy on QSL bureaus has been under review for several years. While the IARU QSL bureau system continues to be important for many member-societies and individual amateurs, escalating expenses represent a growing financial burden for others. Unwanted and undeliverable QSL cards are increasingly recognized as an environmental concern. Possible amendments to the policy continue to be developed for consideration.
In addition to the ITU Radiocommunication Sector the IARU is engaged with the Development Sector, particularly with regard to emergency communication. Additional areas of continuing activity that represent significant effort by volunteer coordinators, advisors, and others include amateur satellite frequency coordination, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and the International Beacon Project. Reports from these coordinators and advisors were received with thanks. The AC agreed to maintain its modest annual financial support of the Beacon Project.
The AC noted the actions taken by the IS and the regions to address the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and agreed to review its implications on an ongoing basis.
After consideration of several possible alternatives the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, 18 April 2019, was confirmed as “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.”
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, Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, and Peter Young, VK3MV. Present as observers were regional executive committee members Jay Bellows, K0QB, Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, and Don Wallace, ZL2TLL.
The next in-person meeting of the AC is scheduled to be held immediately prior to the IARU Region 2 Conference in Lima, Peru at the end of September 2019. Virtual AC meetings will be held by teleconference as required.