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.

Landmark in South African VHF DXing

December saw a landmark in South African VHF DXing when Jan Pienaar, ZS6OB, applied for the DXCC award using only contacts made in the two metre band. Jan becomes the first amateur in Africa and the second in the southern hemisphere to achieve this feat. DXCC is issued by the American Radio Relay League for proven contact with at least 100 entities on a list. Most of these entities are countries, with a few additions that are regarded as separate, mostly for geographic reasons.

More than two thirds of two metre DXCC holders are in Europe, with their concentration of almost 70 countries in close proximity. North America features about a fifth of applicants, with about a tenth in Japan. Bob Mcquarrie, ZL3TY, was the first in Oceania and the southern hemisphere, with Jan, ZS6OB, being first in Africa. South America has yet to produce its first winner.

Jan used digital modes with a four-Yagi station. He has been working on his DXCC for a decade. His single-band award brings the number of bands on which South Africans have earned DXCC to eleven. Jan reports that several South Africans are working on repeating the feat on the 430 MHz band, but all are still a long way off. Only three stations have conquered this band, with all of them being in Europe.