New York – King Juan Carlos I Of Spain Knights ACF President

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, second left, Founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, smiles after being presented Spain’s Order of Civil Merit by Ambassador Juan Antonio Yanez-Barnuevo, second right, and by Spanish Ombudsman Enrique Mugica Herzog, right, as former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, left, looks on, Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, in New York. The Order of Civil Merit was awarded to Rabbi Schneier in recognition of his work in promoting peace and tolerance between peoples of different cultures and beliefs. (Photo by Diane Bondareff for Appeal of Conscience Foundation)

ACF Founder and President, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, is knighted by King Juan Carlos I of Spain with the Order of Civil Merit in recognition of his outstanding work in promoting the objectives of peace and tolerance between peoples of different cultures and beliefs that inspire the Alliance of Civilizations. The ceremony took place at the residence of the Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations.

By imposing the award, Ambassador Permanent Representative, Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo, said that Rabbi Arthur Schneier is “a great friend of Spain who has played a major role in the Alliance of Civilizations.”

In 2005, Rabbi Arthur Schneier was appointed by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as a member of the High Level Group of the Alliance of Civilizations, and in 2008 was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of this United Nations initiative by the current Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. In both tasks, he has played an active role, also participated prominently in the world Forums of the Alliance of Civilizations held in Madrid (2008) and Istanbul (2009).

The Order of Civil Merit was instituted by King Alfonso XIII, by Royal Decree of 25 June 1926, to reward “the civic virtues of service to the state officials and special services of Spanish citizens and foreigners in the good of the nation. Among other reasons, this distinction is awarded to foreign citizens for their outstanding cooperation in all matters conducive to the benefit of Spain.