From 21-23 September 2013, UN Volunteers and other United Nations (UN) personnel with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) are joining with the Afghanistan Astronomy Association for a three-day “star party” to mark the International Day of Peace on 21 September 2013.
“Star parties” resulted from the Star Peace project which the International Astronomical Union (IAU) set up as part of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009). The project encourages the parties, still being held, to be mutual and public, and located near land borders, in cooperation with astronomy groups from the different countries sharing the border.
There, participants are shown, literally, through strong telescopes, the place of human beings in the universe. The parties “provide a chance for all the people of the world to look at the sky again free of all political, religious, national and racial tendencies and without any differences.”
This year, the Star Peace project encouraged its clubs and associates to bring their telescopes to the roofs of UN local offices for the International Day of Peace. At the “star party” in Kabul, participants will have a chance to contemplate and take a closer look at the star closest to the Earth during a “Sun Observation Program”.
Yunos Backshi, with UNAMA’s Language Unit, and the Star Peace ambassador in Afghanistan, has arranged for a special telescope to be installed on the UN Compound which will be available for all UN staff to use on 23 September.
The Star Peace project is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well as the IAU.
The “star party” in Afghanistan epitomizes the theme “Education for Peace” of the International Day of Peace in 2013. It is one of the many events being held around the world by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and UN personnel to mark 21 September, which the United Nations General Assembly declared “as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”