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.

World Radio Conference makes important decisions on amateur radio

(IARU-R1) 3 July 2003

The World Radio Conference held in Geneva in June/July 2003 concluded some important agreements on amateur radio.

Click here for a report by Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, of IARU.

In summary the main changes are:

7 MHz
The big news for radio amateurs is that there will be a dramatic improvement in the 40-meter band! After weeks of debate and efforts to resolve great differences between numerous proposals, including strong positions for no change, the conference agreed to shift broadcasting stations in Regions 1 and 3 out of the 7100-7200 kHz band and to reallocate the band to the amateur service in those two regions. The allocation in Region 2 of 7000-7300 kHz remains exclusively amateur. The broadcasting band in Regions 1 and 3 will become 7200-7450 kHz and in Region 2, 7300-7400 kHz. The change will take effect on 29 March 2009 - a relatively short time by ITU standards.

Click here for details of the new frequency allocations (47k Word file) from that date.

In Regions 1 and 3 the 7100-7200 kHz band will become exclusively amateur on that date. A footnote containing the names of countries that are mainly in Region 3 and the Arab States makes the band also available to the fixed and mobile services in those countries on a primary basis.

Article 25
A package of revisions to the international Radio Regulations that are specific to the amateur and amateur-satellite services has been adopted. The revised Article 25 takes effect on Saturday, 5 July 2003. Click here for the complete although as yet unofficial Article 25. An explanation authored by Michael Owen, VK3KI, who has guided the work of the IARU on this issue since 1996 is also available.

Other changes
Other changes at WARC-03 included the introduction of greater flexibility into how amateur callsigns are structured, and a number of ancillary agreements which impinge onto amateur frequencies. Click here for details.