In the light of the COVID-19 problems, the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee has consulted with those Member Societies planning to attend the 2020 General Conference. As a result the clear majority support an EC proposal to split the Conference into two parts, the first part on the scheduled dates by virtual means and the second part in-person on a date to be determined in 2021. The 11 – 15 October 2020 event will consider much of the “business as usual” elements of a General Conference in Committees C2, C3, C4, C5 and C7.
Amateur radio is an exciting activity, offering great opportunities to those who get involved. But IARU and its member societies face some very significant challenges for the future to ensure that in-flow into amateur radio is further stimulated and that Member Societies and IARU continue to be seen as relevant and supportive by new entrants. The 2021 part of the Conference will, therefore, be primarily devoted to an exploration of these issues and mapping a way ahead. It will be run in “workshop” format with active participation from all Member Societies present, hopefully including large numbers of “tomorrow’s” radio amateurs.
The deadline for papers for the virtual conference in October remains at 10th July 2020. Because of continuing uncertainties around COVID-19, the EC will review the likely date for the 2021 in-person Conference later this year. The deadline for contributions to the 2021 event will be set when the date for that part of the Conference is decided and will be 10 weeks prior to the event. This will also be the deadline for nominations to the Executive Committee for 2021 – 23.