Human Security for All is a global campaign of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the World Academy of Art and Science. This year, 2023, the campaign is partnering with the International Amateur Radio Union, IARU, to highlight the role that amateur radio can play in addressing Human Security needs.
Human Security is a measure of security from the perspective of the individual. It is modeled around seven dimensions of security that describe our common experience life: economic, health, food, environment, personal, community, and political security. These reflect our everyday life experiences much more personally than the security paradigms that focus on national security, but tend to get less attention. The pandemic, military conflicts, financial instability, and food crisis have each transcended national borders and demonstrate a profound lack of security at the individual level that needs to be addressed. . Human Security for All is a campaign to bring attention to these unmet security needs and stimulate the search for real solutions built around the needs of individuals.
Radio means electromagnetic waves carrying information. The range of frequencies that produces these waves is called the electromagnetic spectrum. We know from the billions raised in spectrum auctions that frequency allocations are commercially valuable. Nonetheless, because they were there at the birth of radio and have played a critical role in its development, radio amateurs have been granted international parks of spectrum within which to develop, experiment, and utilize all manner of communications technology from digital to voice, from simple to complex, from local to global. These are called amateur radio bands, and they are spaced harmonically throughout the usable spectrum, each having its own unique propagation characteristics.
From the beginning, radio amateurs have utilized their skills to assist their communities and their nation with public service and emergency communication. Recent disasters such as the hurricane in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Turkey demonstrate the value of amateur radio with commercial systems fail or become overload with traffic. Amateur radio is often called upon to assist in fire fighting efforts where communications infrastructure is inadequate or non-existent. Amateur often step into professional roles to assist agencies in responding to emergency situations. Radio amateurs provide public service communications for special events such as races to monitor and support the health of participants. In the United States, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) are organized groups of licensed amateur radio volunteers who are trained to provide radio communications services to civil and government agencies in times of emergency. This model exists in many countries around the world.
Today, radio is ubiquitous. To many, it has lost its magic. We forget it is the foundational technology of the cell phones we all carry. Our computer networking protocols, WiFi and Blutetooth are all radio systems. The internet service StarLink, is based on low earth orbit satellite radio pioneered by amateurs. Radio is still quite powerful and magical to amateur radio operators, but ordinary citizens take it for granted. If your station worked K4A in April 2023, go to clublog.org and request a commemorative QSL card.