The United Nations Correspondents Association

Article 1

The Association shall be called the United Nations Correspondents Association. Its aims and purposes shall be:

1. To maintain and protect the freedom and prestige of Press, Radio and Television correspondents in all their relations with the United Nations.

2. To promote the interests of its members and to facilitate their personal and professional relationships.

3. To take whatever measures possible to protect the rights of bona fide correspondents to secure accreditation and unhindered access to the United Nations Headquarters or regional offices, and to their normally available facilities without discrimination.

4. To undertake any other action, when required, on behalf of Press, Radio and Television correspondents accredited to the United Nations, either at its Headquarters or at any of its regional offices.

5. To facilitate social contact between its members, delegates from member nations of the United Nations, officials of the Secretariat, and other distinguished personalities connected with international affairs.

Article 2

1. Membership in the Association shall be divided into four separate categories:

(1) regular

(2) associate

(3) honorary

(4) alumni

2. Regular Members:

Any person holding a United Nations accreditation who is a professional correspondent for newspapers, news agencies, magazines, radio or television media and who regularly covers the activities of the United Nations shall be eligible for regular membership. Regular members in good standing shall be entitled to participate in all activities of the association, with the right to vote and hold office, and to hold all other privileges and benefits of the Association.

3. Associate Members:

Any professional journalist holding a temporary DPI card, issued for a period of four months and longer and renewed periodically may be elected to Associate Membership. An Associate Member has the same rights and duties as an Active Member, without the right to vote.

As amended in 1981: “As an exception, an Associate Member who has proven professional qualifications can be admitted to active membership following a recommendation of the Membership Committee by an affirmative vote of at least ten members of the Executive Committee. Active members holding a full year or temporary DPI card but who have ceased to cover the work of the United Nations activities on a regular basis can, following a recommendation of the Membership Committee, be transferred to the Associate category by an affirmative vote of at least ten members of the Executive Committee.”

4. Honorary Members:

Honorary life membership may be conferred upon any former member for outstanding service to the Association or to Journalism. Such membership shall be conferred by a majority vote of a General Membership Meeting upon recommendation for the Executive Committee. Honorary members shall be entitled only to take part in the social activities of the Association and shall be exempt from the payment of dues.

5. Alumni Members:

Any former regular member of the Association who has left his assignment in good standing with the association may be elected to Alumni Membership by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. An Alumni member shall not have the right to vote or hold office; nor shall he or she have the right to enjoy financial or other benefits. Such Alumni members shall be listed in a special section of the UNCA directory, shall be placed on the Association mailing lists and be eligible to wear the UNCA emblem. Dues for Alumni members shall be fixed in accordance with Article 5 of this constitution.

6. Applications for Regular or Associate Membership shall be sponsored by two regular members, each of whom must be personally acquainted with the candidate and be prepared to confirm the authenticity of his stated professional background. In the event that this is not possible, the Secretary shall require the candidate to submit whatever satisfactory proof he or she can produce of his or her journalistic experience and competence.

7. Admission to membership shall be made by the Executive Committee upon determination that the applicant is qualified under the provisions of this Article.

8. Members whose dues are more than three months in arrears shall not be considered in good standing and shall, upon one month’s notification in writing, forfeit the rights and privileges of membership. Members whose dues are more than one year in arrears may be dropped from the rolls of the Association.

9. Membership in the Association shall lapse, except for Honorary Members, upon determination by the Executive Committee that a member is no longer qualified under provisions of this Article.

Article 3

1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, First, Second and Third Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These officers, together with nine members-at-large, shall constitute the Executive Committee, which is responsible for managing the affairs of the Association.

2. Not more than one-third of the membership of the Executive Committee shall be correspondents whose home offices are in any one country, and not more than two members from any single organization shall be elected to the Executive committee.

3. The members of the Executive Committee shall assume their duties on the first day of January following their election and shall hold office until the last day of December of that year. The Association’s fiscal year shall correspond with the calendar year.

Election of the Executive committee shall be held at a time and place to be decided by the outgoing Committee, between November 15 and December 15.

4. In the event the Office of President becomes vacant, the First Vice President shall become President to fill the unexpired term. The Second Vice President shall become First Vice President and the Third Vice President shall become the Second Vice President. The same procedure shall apply in the event the office of First Vice President or Second Vice President becomes vacant.

5. All other vacancies on the Executive Committee shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Committee.

6. The President, with the approval of the Executive Committee, shall appoint operating subcommittees as necessary. These shall include three Special Officers to supervise the United Nations Correspondents Association Club Fund established under agreement with the Secretary-General on September 16, 1955.

Article 4

The procedure for election shall be as follows:

1. The Executive Committee shall designate three working days for purposes of balloting.

2. The Executive Committee shall take due precautions to ensure secrecy of ballot. Regular members in good standing shall receive a ballot of signing the voting register.

3. Ballots shall be deposited in a locked box kept in a public part of the working press area of the United Nations Headquarters, due security measures being taken.

4. At the completion of the voting, the ballot box shall be opened by three tellers appointed by the Executive Committee to scrutinize the ballots and tabulate the vote in private.

5. In the event any candidate is disqualified under the provision of Article 3, Section 2, the candidate with the next highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

6. Upon completing tabulation of the vote, the tellers shall post in a public part of the working press area of the United Nations Headquarters a complete compilation of the votes cast, certified over their signatures.

7. The Executive Committee shall establish nominating procedures which shall ensure that

(a) all members have equal opportunity to run for office;

(b) that the member nominated wishes to run for the office in question;

(c) that, subject to provisions of Paragraph B Section 7 of this Article, there is no restriction on the right of members to vote for any eligible member for any office.

Article 5

Dues and initiation fees shall be fixed by the annual Membership Meeting upon recommendation of the Executive Committee.

Article 6

1. Expulsion of a member or impeachment of any of the elected officers of the Association shall follow this procedure:

(a) Charges shall be preferred in writing to the Executive Committee by at least five regular members in good standing.

(b) The Executive Committee shall appoint a Board of Examination, comprising at least three and not more than five members, to make an impartial investigation and report its findings to the Executive Committee within ten days.

(c) The member or officer under investigation shall be given an opportunity to appear before the Executive Committee and before a General Membership Meeting.

(d) The Executive Committee shall consider the findings of the Board of Examiners and the testimony of the member or officer under investigation and report its findings to a General Membership Meeting.

(e) A recommendation for expulsion or impeachment shall require an affirmative vote of at least ten members of the Executive Committee.

(f) A recommendation of the Executive Committee for expulsion or impeachment shall require a concurring vote of three-fourths of the members present at a legally convened General Membership Meeting.

Article 7

1. The Association shall convene an annual Membership Meeting during the first half of the month of January.

2. The Executive committee may call a Membership Meeting at any other time, in addition to the Annual membership Meeting. The President shall convene a General Meeting when requested by 15 regular members, within ten days of the filing of such a request.

3. A legal quorum for the transaction of business at a Membership Meeting shall be 20% of the regular membership.

4. Notification of the holding of a Membership Meeting shall specify the agenda to be considered. Additional items may be inscribed on the Agenda of such a Meeting by a two-thirds vote of those present. Action shall be by majority vote unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution.

5. The Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the President, but in no event less than once in three months.

6. Eight members shall constitute a legal quorum for the transaction of Executive Committee business.

7. The President shall convene the Executive Committee upon the written request of three members of the Committee, within five days of the receipt of such a request.

8. The President shall convene the Executive Committee upon written request of ten regular members of the Association, within one week of the receipt of such a request.

Article 8

1. The Executive committee may recommend, and the Association elects annually, an Honorary Counsel and an honorary Auditor. They shall be members of the Association ex-officio, without voting privileges.

2. The accounts of the Association shall be audited annually.

Article 9

1. This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of those
casting “yes” or “no” ballots in a mail referendum.

2. An amendment or amendments may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by ten members of the Association. The Secretary shall circulate the amendment or amendments by mail to all members within ten days.

3.Unless their sponsors withdraw the proposed amendment or amendments, the Secretary shall poll the membership by mail referendum thirty days after the amendment(s) have been circulated. If a Membership Meeting to discuss such amendment(s) is requested, it shall be held at least ten days prior to the referendum. The Membership Meeting may propose alternative draft(s) that shall be submitted to the membership together with the original proposal(s).

4. Referendum ballots shall be returned within twenty-one days of mailing date to be considered valid.

Article 10

1. The Association may be dissolved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the regular members in good standing, taken by mail referendum under the procedure described in Article 9 of this Constitution.

2. If fewer than ten members of the Association shall continue to perform their duties in covering the United Nations, the Association shall be considered automatically dissolved.

Article 11

1. In the case of dissolution, all assets of the Association, with the exception of the assets of the UNCA Club Fund, shall be transferred to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

2. Disposition of the UNCA Club Fund shall be determined by agreement between the last President of the Association and the Special Officers of the UNCA Club Fund, on the one hand, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the other hand, on the basis of the agreement between the Association and the Secretary-General dated 16 September 1955.

2 January 1976    As Amended July 25, 1957 and April 6, 1973 and in 1981