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The International Amateur Radio Union

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)  is the worldwide federation of national Amateur Radio organizations. The membership of the IARU consists of more than 160 member-societies in as many countries and separate territories.

The IARU was founded at a meeting in Paris in 1925 as the international representative of the Amateur Radio movement. At the time, the “short waves” were just beginning to be understood and to be exploited for global communication using power levels and antennas that were within reach of private individuals operating from their own homes. These radio amateurs needed an organization to coordinate their activities and to be their voice at international conferences.

The IARU is recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the representative of the interests of its member societies and radio amateurs throughout the world. The IARU is a Sector Member of the ITU Radiocommunication (ITU-R) and Development (ITU-D) Sectors and participates in the Study Groups of both Sectors.

The IARU Constitution has been revised several times. The current Constitution was adopted in 1984 and amended slightly in 1989. It recognizes three regional organizations representing the three radio regions that are defined by the ITU for frequency allocation purposes.

Each regional organization is autonomous and operates in accordance with its own Constitution. The ARRL is a member of IARU Region 3 as well as Region 2 because it represents the radio amateurs of Guam, the Northern Marianas and American Samoa which are located in Region 3.

The administration of the IARU is performed by the ARRL, which serves as the International Secretariat. The policy and management of the IARU are carried out by its Administrative Council, made up of the three IARU officers (President, Vice President and Secretary) and two representatives from each of the three regional organizations. The Administrative Council normally meets annually, usually in conjunction with a regional conference.


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