The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is a federation of national associations of certified radio amateurs, representing over 150 countries and separate territories around the world.

The three IARU Regions are organised to broadly mirror the structure of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its related regional telecommunications organisations. The Regions comprise:
- IARU Region 1: Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia
- IARU Region 2: The Americas
- IARU Region 3: Asia-Pacific

The IARU represents the interests of the Amateur Radio Service worldwide to relevant international organisations, promoting the interests of amateur radio and seeking to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges.

New licensing arrangements for Tunisia

Amateur radio had been regarded with some suspicion by the previous Tunisian regime, which only granted permission to a few organisations to open club stations. Individual licences were not generally available. Several attempts to create an amateur radio association failed.

After the Jasmin Revolution in 2011, Tunisian youth created their own association named ARAT. The government recognized it as an official association under Tunisian law. Later on, other radio associations have been created. Following a meeting at the 2014 IARU-R1 Conference, ARAT was accepted as an IARU Member society for Tunisia.

The biggest challenge for ARAT has been to convince the Tunisian administration to issue amateur radio licenses for individuals, as happens in other countries of the world. Although the activity within the clubs was fruitful, a number of people wanted to have stations at home.
Since its creation in 2011, ARAT has established good relationships with the National Agency of Frequencies (ANF) and the Ministry of Telecommunications. Several meetings have been held to explain the benefits of this hobby.

ARAT suggested a draft decree for a licensing system. This draft was also discussed with ASTRA (another association operating in Tunisia). ARAT also participated in the public survey organized by ANF and cooperated to ensure the least procedural complexity and maximum privileges for the future applicants.

There have been a number of changes of ministerial responsibility in the relevant ministries since 2011, which has meant that ARAT has had to re-initiate discussions on a number of occasions. The amateur radio dossier involves 3 ministries, Telecommunications, Defence and Interior. In a country where recent terrorist attacks have occurred, these two latter have the greatest influence on any decision making. IARU supported the ARAT efforts with letters sent to these stakeholders.

Fortunately,all this work has concluded with the Ministry of Telecommunications approving and issuing in September 2017, the decree orginising the amateur radio activity in Tunisia. The decree has appeared in the Official Journal of the Tunisian Republic 2017-3215

It is now possible for Tunisian hams to apply, pass an exam and get their own amateur radio licenses. For those who already have a foreign license (already 7 ARAT members), they can be granted licenses without passing an exam. Resident foreigners can also apply.

ARAT is grateful to Minister Anouar Maarouf, to the Tunisian administration and to all those who contributed to this achievement (Hans PB2T, Tim VE6SH, Don G3BJ, Faisal 9K2RR... and many others).