International Amateur Radio Union
|Motto||"Representing the Interests of Two-Way Amateur Radio Communication"|
|Headquarters||Newington, Connecticut, USA|
|162 national member societies|
|Tim Ellam VE6SH|
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is an international confederation of national amateur radio organisations that allows a forum for common matters of concern and collectively represents matters to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Following an informal meeting in 1924 of representatives from France, Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Canada, and the United States, a plan was formulated to hold an International Amateur Congress in Paris, France in April, 1925, for the purpose of founding an international amateur radio organization. The Congress was attended by representatives of 23 countries in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. A constitution for the IARU was adopted on April 17, and the formation of the International Amateur Radio Union was ratified on April 18, 1925.
The protocol of the congress was written in the languages English French and Esperanto. 
As of February, 2009, the International Amateur Radio Union is composed of 162 national member societies.
The IARU has an elected President and Vice President, an appointed Secretary and other officials (including regional representatives) forming an Administrative Council. These office holders are presently Timothy Ellam (Canada), President; Ole Garpestad (Norway), Vice-President and Rod Stafford (USA), Secretary. The IARU International Secretariat (IARUIS) is operated by a member society after election by members. Currently, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) operates the IARUIS from its headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, USA.
The IARU is organised into three regions, named Region 1, Region 2, and Region 3. These regions correspond to the regulatory regions used by the International Telecommunication Union. Each region has an Executive Committee, typically composed of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and several Directors. These regional officers are elected by representatives from the member societies at triennial regional conferences. Coordinators may be appointed by the Executive Committee of the region to support particular areas within the region, or to promote certain amateur radio activities within the region. All three regions have appointed Coordinators for Amateur Radio Direction Finding, emergency communications, monitoring for electromagnetic interference, and radio propagation.
IARU Region 1
IARU Region 1 includes the member societies representing amateur radio operators in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and northern Asia. IARU Region 1 has the largest number of member societies among the three IARU regions, and has been the source of several international initiatives. IARU Region 1 lobbying efforts led to the creation of the 30 meter, 17 meter, and 12 meter amateur radio bands, improving the standardization of reciprocal licensing, and promoting Amateur Radio Direction Finding.
IARU Region 2
IARU Region 2 includes the member societies representing amateur radio operators in North and South America. The organization of IARU Region 2 was founded in 1964 when representatives from 15 national radio societies attended the First Panamerican Radio Amateur Congress in Mexico City, Mexico. Antonio Pita, XE1CCP was the region's first elected President.
IARU Region 3
IARU Region 3 includes the member societies representing amateur radio operators in Australia, most of Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Although most of their membership is located in other IARU regions, the American Radio Relay League and the Radio Society of Great Britain are full member societies of IARU Region 3. The ARRL represents amateur radio operators in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, and other dependent territories in the Pacific Ocean. The RSGB represents amateur radio operators in the British Indian Ocean Territory. IARU Region 3 has a special emphasis on promoting the harmonization of license qualifications in an effort to promote easier reciprocal operations by amateur radio operators in the region.
GAREC - Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conferences
The Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference or 'GAREC' is a yearly conference held by the International Amateur Radio Union for discussion of amateur radio operation during natural disasters and other emergencies with the motto, "Saving lives through emergency communications". GAREC was first held in Tampere, Finland in 2005, coinciding with the adoption of the Tampere Convention, a globally binding emergency communications treaty that had been signed in Tampere in 1998. In later conferences, the venue has attempted to rotate in sequence through ITU Regions 1, 2 and 3 ( though not necessarily in that particular order )
The IARU organises and promotes radiosport activities throughout the world. The rules used for High Speed Telegraphy are maintained by a Working Group of the IARU, and regional and world championships in the sport are sponsored by the IARU. Amateur Radio Direction Finding is similarly supported by the organisation, with a standing Working Group responsible for maintaining the rules used by most international events, including IARU-sponsored regional and world championships. The IARU is less directly involved in the sport of contesting, but does sponsor an annual competition known as the IARU HF World Championship. The IARU does not directly administer any of these sporting events, but authorises and sponsors them through host organisations.
Operating Station and the WAC Award
The IARU maintains a radio station at its headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. Its callsign is NU1AW. As an amateur radio station licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission the "1" stands for its location in the New England area. "NU" were taken from the pre-1928 era when amateurs made up their own prefixes, and informally used these letters to show they were in "North America—USA". The "AW" suffix represents the connection with the American Radio Relay League, whose own station is W1AW. NU1AW is frequently active during amateur radio contests.
For many years the IARU has issued the Worked All Continents certificate to amateurs who contact fellow hams in the six permanently populated continental areas of the world. Special awards and endorsements for various bands and modes are also available.
- International Amateur Radio Union (2007). "The International Amateur Radio Union". Oct. 22, 2007.
- International Amateur Radio Union (2005). "Member Societies". Jan. 7, 2005.
- IARU Constitution
- International Amateur Radio Union (2005). "Constitution of the International Amateur Radio Union". Jan. 11, 2005.
- Clinton B. DeSoto (1936). 200 meters & Down — The Story of Amateur Radio. W. Hartford, CT: The American Radio Relay League. pp. 106–109. ISBN 0-87259-001-1.
- Sumner, David (2000). "IARU 75th Anniversary, 18 April 2000". The Calendar, International Amateur Radio Union, No. 180, March 15, 2000.
- editeur Etienne Chiron 40 rue de Seine Paris 1925
- American Radio Relay League (2009). "IARU Member-Societies Ratify New Officers, Vote to Admit New Members". Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- International Amateur Radio Union (2005). "The IARU International Secretariat". January 11, 2005.
- International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (2008). "About IARU and IARU Region 1". Retrieved August 5, 2008.
- International Amateur Radio Union (2008). "IARU-R2 History". Retrieved Aug. 5, 2008.
- International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 (2008). "Directory". Retrieved Aug. 5, 2008.
- The Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations. http://www.iaru.org/emergency/tc-hams.html. Accessed 13 August 2007.
- International Amateur Radio Union (2007). "IARU Contests". Jul. 23, 2007.
- International Amateur Radio Unin (1996). NU1AW: IARU's Club Station Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- IARU web site
- Current list of IARU Member Societies
- IARU Region 1 web site
- IARU Region 2 web site
- IARU Region 3 web site