The United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) was founded in 1948 at Lake Success on Long Island where the United Nations was temporarily located.
At the time, the United Nations had 56 member nations. UNCA started with fifty members, mostly representatives of American and Canadian media. The first president of UNCA was an American John G. Rogers, correspondent for the New York Tribune.
The relationship between the United Nations Correspondents Association, as the organization representing the United Nations press corps, and the Secretary-General is based on an agreement dated, September 16th, 1995 and embodied in the UNCA constitution.
As the role and the influence of the United Nations grew in the world, the number of correspondents also grew.
From its inception, UNCA worked to bring correspondents, members of diplomatic delegations and the Department of Public Information together by organizing press conferences, social functions, luncheons and an annual awards event.
Among the eminent guest of UNCA were King Hussein of Jordan, Prime Minister Fidel Castro of Cuba, Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev of the USSR, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, Polish leader Edward Gierek, French Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann, the presidents of General Assemblies and the Secretaries-General.
After the death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold in a plane crash in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) on 17 September 1961, UNCA established the Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Scholarship Fund, which annually awards several young journalists from developing countries a stipend to visit the United Nations to cover the General Assembly.
In 1992, the UNCA Executive Committee established the global media awards for excellence in UN coverage to journalists from around the world including Africa, Asia, the Arab world, and Latin America. The annual UNCA Awards is held annually in December in New York.
The United Nations Correspondents Association is incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) in the State of New York.
The United Nations Correspondents Association is recognized annually in a resolution adopted by the General Assembly under the mandate of the Committee to Review United Nations Public Information Policies and Activities, known as The Committee on Information. In its 2013 resolution, the General Assembly commended the United Nations Correspondents Association for its ongoing activities.