Information Exchange and Camaraderie Highlight IARU Region 2 Conference
The 58 delegates and observers who gathered in Salinitas, Sonsonate, El Salvador for the 17th General Assembly of IARU Region 2 experienced a busy and enjoyable week. The conference began on October 4 and concluded on October 8. Twelve IARU Member-Societies in the Americas were represented in person, with another seven represented by proxy. President Kay Craigie, N3KN, served as the voting delegate for the ARRL and was assisted by International Affairs Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB, and Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ. Observers from IARU Regions 1 and 3 and the International Secretariat were present to assist and to learn from the conferees.
The conference was formally opened by Dr Luis Méndez Menéndez, head of SIGET, the telecommunications administration of El Salvador. He brought the welcome news that El Salvador has acceded to the Protocol amending the Inter-American Convention on an International Amateur Radio Permit to extend its benefits to European holders of the CEPT Radio Amateur License and to amateurs from the Americas visiting CEPT countries. This step brings the Protocol of Amendment into force and will allow the regional telecommunications organizations for Europe and the Americas, CEPT and CITEL respectively, to work out the administrative details. The arrangement will apply only to Panama and El Salvador until additional countries in the Americas accede to the Protocol of Amendment. The United States, Canada and Peru already participate in the CEPT arrangement.
Delegates shared presentations on a number of important and useful topics. Vantroi Peña, HI8VP, Secretary of Radio Club Dominicano, graphically described the assistance to Haitian earthquake relief work by amateurs of the Dominican Republic and how the equipment provided by and through the ARRL was put to good use. Delegates of Radio Club de Chile (RCCH) described the effects of the earthquake that struck their country a few weeks later and the communications assistance that radio amateurs were able to provide; they expressed gratitude to Region 2 for its financial support toward repairs to the RCCH club station. Chuy López-Villalobos, XE2N, explained how amateurs in Mexico are using digital modes in emergency preparedness. Delegates of LABRE, the national society for Brazil, demonstrated a Web site where the exact location of Brazilian amateur stations can be seen. On behalf of the Federación de Radioaficionados de Cuba, Region 2 Director Pedro Rodriguez, CO2RP, described the Caguairán homebrew transceiver project that is intended to improve the emergency communications capabilities of Cuban amateurs. David Sumner, K1ZZ, gave presentations on the WSPR HF beacon protocol and its associated Web site and on the World Radiosport Team Championship held in Russia this past July.
Among numerous items of formal business, the General Assembly made minor corrections and additions to the Region 2 Band Plan; the revised LF/MF/HF Band Plan dated October 8, 2010 is now available (see PDF file below). With the successful implementation of a new procedure for reviewing and updating the Band Plan, the Region 2 HF Committee was eliminated.
An ARRL paper, “Amateur Radio Operators and Tropical Cyclone Events,” was accepted for publication on the Region 2 Web site in both English and Spanish; it provides guidance for amateurs on how to prepare for hurricanes and typhoons.
Fabián Zarrabe, YS1FI, was commended for his many years of service to Amateur Radio and the IARU.
Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH; Secretary Ramón Santoyo V., XE1KK, and Treasurer Noel Donawa, 9Y4NED were re-elected for three-year terms. José Arturo Molina, YS1MS, was elected to replace Dario Jurado, HP1DJ, as Vice President. Returning as Directors are Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA; Marco Tulio Gudiel, TG9AGD, and Gustavo de Faria Franco, PT2ADM; they are joined by newly elected Directors Jay Bellows, K0QB, and Galdino Besomi, CE3PG. Santoyo and Donawa will serve as Directors as well as officers. Longtime Director Ron Szama, LU2AH, stood aside in favor of Besomi and delivered a stirring tribute to Region 2 and to the friendships he has made in three decades of involvement with the IARU. Rod Stafford, W6ROD, did not seek re-election as a Director of Region 2 because he now serves as IARU Secretary.
A proposal by the Federación Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores to host the 18th Region 2 General Assembly in 2013 in Monterrey, Mexico was accepted with thanks.
In their few moments of free time, the delegates and observers were able to operate Special Event Station YS0IARU or to sign YS2/<call sign> using licenses provided as a courtesy by SIGET through the Club de Radio Aficionados de El Salvador (CRAS), the IARU Member-Society that hosted the conference. All of the conference participants departed feeling deep appreciation for the meticulous preparations and support performed by CRAS and with fond memories of new and renewed friendships and of the beautiful country and friendly people of El Salvador.
Visit the IARU Region 2 Web site for more information about IARU Region 2 and the 17th General Assembly.