WRC-12 opened at 11.00 on 23 January with the formal speeches and political niceties usually associated with a global conference of this size. Over 150 administrations are represented and Mr T Al Awadhi from the United Arab Emirates was elected as the conference chairman.
Work started after lunch with the election of the various committees, working group and sub working group chairmen. Brennan Price, NQ4X, ARRL Chief Technical Officer and a member of the US delegation was elected as chairman of Sub Working Group 4C3, which will be dealing with agenda item 1.23, the 500kHz proposal. The introduction of the various associated papers showed strong support for an allocation for the amateur service but there is opposition from the Russian and Arab Groups, China and Iran. The hard work will start on the 2nd day of the conference with the first meeting of SWG4C3 in the morning.
Apart from those radio amateurs who are representing their professional interests at this conference, the amateur service is represented by Colin Thomas, G3PSM (RSGB) in the UK delegation, Ulrich Mueller, DK4VW (DARC), Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN (RAC), Dale Hughes, VK1DSH (WIA) and Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP (JARL), each in their respective country delegations.
The IARU, which has observer status at these conferences, is currently represented at the start of the conference by IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, Vice-President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, Ken Pulfer, VE3FU and Dave Sumner, K1ZZ.