IARU Virtual General Conference — 1st Day

IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, formally opened the Region 1 VGC today.

Speaking from Calgary, Tim reminded delegates that we faced unprecedented challenges today, which would likely result in much more of IARU’s work being virtual. He reminded the meeting of the challenges IARU faced to ensure that we remained relevant to the future of amateur radio. He recalled comments he had made in the past that “Amateur Radio has changed and will continue to change. The IARU and its member-societies must be ready to adapt and respond to that change”. He acknowledged the lead taken by IARU Region 1 in stimulating change in IARU and pointed to the Region 1 Workshop planned for 2021 as an important opportunity for Region 1 to review its strategies for the future and the implications for Member Societies and IARU.

After the opening Plenary session, Committee C3 (Organisational and Administrative) began its work, considering matters of Region 1 governance (covering proposed amendments to the Regional Constitution, including to allow for virtual General Conferences) a review of standing recommendations and discussion on the in-person workshop planned for 2021 to address the many challenges facing amateur radio and Member Societies today. C3 went on to review IARU’s plans for representing the amateur service in the many work groups involved in preparation for World Radio Conference 2023. The next C3 is on Wednesday 14th.

Committee C5 (VHF+) started the first of its meetings by reviewing the reports from coordinators and other Region 1 specialists working in the VHF+ field, including the Contest Working Group. The Committee then discussed WRC-23 particularly as it relates to the spectrum allocated to the amateur service at VHF and above. Finally, discussions took place on the report created on spectrum needs and occupancy at VHF+. The next C5 is on Monday 12th.

The Youth Working Group was the final stream meeting held today. The virtual platform gave the opportunity to have a wider audience than usual, reaching over 80 participants from 33 different MS, and observers from the other IARU Regions have been present. The meeting reviewed the work of the Youth Working Group and the YOTA programme and discussed the challenges of expanding the reach of the programme to other youth communities. There was a good interaction between the audience.

All recommendations from Committee stream meetings go forward to the final plenary on Friday 16th for discussion and approval. 

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