4U Stations and activity

This month, we’ll look at the many different uses of the 4U prefix. The 4U prefix is allocated to the United Nations (UN), so it can be confusing as to what country a certain 4U call counts for. The UN may use the 4U prefix from multiple locations throughout the world. There are two 4U locations that are recognized as separate ARRL DXCC entities due to their significance in Amateur Radio. They are the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Headquarters, which is situated in Geneva, Switzerland, and normally uses the call 4U1ITU, and the United Nations Headquarters, which is in New York City and usually uses the call 4U1UN.

ITU Headquarters
ITU Headquarters (4U1ITU) was added to the DXCC list, declared in the February 1964 issue of QST as follows:
Announcement is hereby made of the addition to the ARRL Countries List of the International Telecommunications Union Headquarters at Geneva. This listing will appear on our list as 4U1ITU Geneva. Acceptance of the ITU Headquarters as a separate entity on our Countries list is based on “distinctively separate administration.” Starting April 1, 1964, accepted contacts were backdated to November 15, 1945. Over the years, various 4U calls such as 4U0ITU, 4U2ITU-4U9ITU, 4U150ITU, and 4U1WRC have been used from ITU  Headquarters in Geneva.

United Nations Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters (4U1 UN) in New York City was added to the DXCC list in October 1978, starting with contacts from February 4, 1978 and afterwards. Multiple special event calls have been used from the New York HQ station, including 4U0UN, 4U35UN, 4U36UN, 4U37UN, 4U38UN, 4U39UN, 4U41UN, 4U42UN,  4U43UN, 4U45UN, 4U46UN, 4U49UN, 4U50SPACE, 4U60UN, and, most recently, 4U70UN.The latter was the last time the United Nations was active, in October 2015. The 4U1 UN beacon is still up and running.

Other 4U Call Signs
Over the past few years, several other 4U stations have been on the air. Starting with the Vienna International Center stations, 4U1VIC, 4U1 A, 4U2U, 4U10NPT, 4U1WED, 4U1XMAS, and 4U0R have been operating. These stations all count as Austria (OE) for DXCC purposes.

Over in Rome, Italy, is the United Nations World Food Programme Headquarters station, which uses 4U0WFP, as well as contest calls and special event calls 4U4F, 4U5F, 4U6F, 4U7F, 4U8F, 4U7FOC, and 4U80FOC.

The United Nations Global Service
Center located in Brindisi, Italy, has been issued the call 4U1GSC, but has also used the special calls 4U20B, 4U24OCT, 4U13FEB, and 4U29MAY.

In Washington, DC, the World Bank station uses the call sign 4U1WB. This one counts as the United States for DXCC.

Several years ago, special call 4U1AIDS was operational from Geneva, Switzerland, and counts as Switzerland for DXCC.

Until the late 1990s, United Nations workers were allowed to use the portable call /4U from other countries.
Digging back through my personal 4U QSL cards, I found confirmations from Golan Heights from three VE
stations portable /4U, which counted for Syria. My contacts with these were in the Novice band. Also in my
pile of 4U call confirmations, I found 4U1 UP from the University for Peace in Costa Rica, from 1984.

It should be noted that both 4U1ITU and 4U1UN were originally put on the DXCC list under the old rules as point
1 countries (separate administration) and were grandfathered in, along with 27 others, after the rewriting of
the DXCC 2000 rules in April 1998.

(Copyright) Bernie McClenny, W3UR, w3ur@arrl.org 
ARRL / QST # July 2018

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