Peter Sutherland
Peter Sutherland (1985).jpg
Official portrait, 1985
UN Special Representative for International Migration
In office
12 January 2006 – 9 March 2017
Secretary-General
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byLouise Arbour
Chairman of Goldman Sachs
In office
1 July 1995 – 1 May 2015
Preceded byEdith W. Cooper
Succeeded byLloyd Blankfein
1st Director-General of the World Trade Organization
In office
1 July 1993 – 1 May 1995
Preceded byArthur Dunkel as Director-General of the GATT
Succeeded byRenato Ruggiero
European Commissioner for Competition
In office
7 January 1985 – 5 January 1989
PresidentJacques Delors
Preceded byFrans Andriessen
Succeeded byLeon Brittan
19th Attorney General of Ireland
In office
30 June 1981 – 9 March 1982
TaoiseachGarret FitzGerald
Preceded byAnthony J. Hederman
Succeeded byPatrick Connolly
In office
15 December 1982 – 12 December 1984
Preceded byJohn L. Murray
Succeeded byJohn Rogers
Personal details
Born
Peter Denis Sutherland

(1946-04-25)25 April 1946
Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland
Died7 January 2018(2018-01-07) (aged 71)
Dublin, Ireland
Resting placeKilternan Cemetery Park, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)
Maruja
(m. 1971)
Children3
EducationGonzaga College
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Peter Denis Sutherland (25 April 1946 – 7 January 2018) was an Irish businessman, barrister and Fine Gael politician who served as UN Special Representative for International Migration from 2006 to 2017. He was known for serving in a variety of international organisations, political and business roles.

Sutherland was the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration until March 2017.[1][2] Appointed in January 2006, he was responsible for the creation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).[1] He also served as President of the International Catholic Migration Commission, as well as a member of the Migration Advisory Board of the International Organization for Migration. He was a board member of Wallenberg-owned ABB and the Wallenbergs' conglomerate holding company, Investor AB.

A barrister by profession, Sutherland was a Senior Counsel of the Bar Council of Ireland. He previously served as Attorney General of Ireland (1981–1982, 1982–1984); European Commissioner for Competition (1985–1989); founding Director-General of the World Trade Organization,[3] formerly GATT (1993–1995); and chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995–2015).[4] He received numerous awards including the European Person of the Year Award (1988).

Early and personal life

Of Irish nationality, Sutherland was born in Dublin in 1946 and was educated at Gonzaga College in Ranelagh, Dublin. He graduated in Civil Law at University College Dublin and practised at the Irish Bar between 1969 and 1980.[5] He married Maruja, a Spaniard, in 1974.[6]

Political career

Attorney General of Ireland

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Sutherland was appointed Attorney General of Ireland in June 1981, serving until March 1982. He took the post again from December 1982 to December 1984.[7]

European Commissioner

Sutherland was appointed to the European Commission (EC) in 1985 and had responsibility for competition policy and, initially for 1985 only, also for education. He said that he was especially pleased to have proposed the establishment of the Erasmus Programme that allows European university students to study in other member states.[8]

He was chairman of the Committee that produced the Sutherland Report on the completion of the Internal Market of the European Economic Community (EEC), commissioned by the EC and presented to the European Council at its Edinburgh meeting in 1992.[9]

He was the youngest ever European Commissioner and served in the first Delors Commission, where he played a crucial role in opening up competition across Europe, particularly the airline, telecoms, and energy sectors. He also played a major role in the reinforcement of state aid control, notably through the high-profile Boussac case.[10]

GATT/WTO

In 1993, he became Director-General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization). Later Mickey Kantor, the United States Trade Representative, credited him with being the father of globalisation and said that without him there would have been no WTO.[11] The Uruguay round of global trade talks, concluded in December 1993 with Sutherland as chair of GATT, produced a "comprehensive, rules-based and global trade regime"[12] which was the biggest trade agreement in history and established the WTO. His integral role in the successful conclusion of these negotiations has been cited as "indispensable".[13]: 69  Chairing the Uruguay Round, Sutherland "employed tactics the likes of which had never been seen before in GATT…he worked to create the sense of unstoppable momentum" by mobilising the press and media and instigating "a more aggressive public relations than the staid GATT had ever before seen".[13]: 70 

A 2013 book by Craig VanGrasstek of the Harvard Kennedy School, published by the WTO, The History and Future of the World Trade Organization,[13] details Sutherland's role in the formation and establishment of the body.

On the elevation of the role of director-general, VanGrasstek writes "The office is shaped to a great degree by the person who occupies it, and Director-General Peter Sutherland – who served both as the last GATT director-general and the first WTO director-general – redefined the role and the links between that office and the leadership in the members in a way that gave him and his successors additional options for the conduct of negotiations".[13]: 46  Sutherland was instrumental in elevating the office of director-general to one that dealt directly with presidents and prime ministers, not just ministers, a key factor in the success of negotiations and the political esteem of the body going forward.[13]: 85  He served as Chairman of the Advisory Council to the Director-General that produced the report on the future of the WTO, published in 2005.[14]

Business career

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Sutherland (centre) with IIE director C. Fred Bergsten and US deputy Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, 1997
Sutherland (centre) with IIE director C. Fred Bergsten and US deputy Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, 1997

Sutherland was the chairman of Allied Irish Banks (AIB) from 1989 until 1993.[15][3]

He was non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International (a registered UK broker-dealer, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs) until June 2015.

Until June 2009 he was non-executive chairman of BP, being replaced by Carl-Henric Svanberg, formerly chief executive officer of Ericsson.[citation needed] Sutherland was a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group until it was taken over by the UK government to avoid bankruptcy.[citation needed] He also formerly served on the board of ABB.[citation needed] He was also a non-executive director of construction materials giant CRH plc from 1989 to July 1993. CRH plc was fined in 1994 by the European Competition Directorate General for its role in the pan-European cement cartel (Case Number IV 33.126 AND 33.322).[clarify][citation needed]

He served on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group until May 2014,[16] and was Honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (from 2010), formerly Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (Europe) (2001–2010);[17] and vice chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (2006–2009).[18]

He was chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Institute of Public Administration (Maastricht) from 1991 to 1996.[19] He was also Honorary President of the European Movement Ireland.[20]

He was a member of the Hong Kong Chief Executive's Council of International Advisers between 1998 and 2005.[21]

He produced the Sutherland Report for the Portuguese government on the handover of Macao to China in January 2000.[22]

He was President of the Federal Trust for Education and Research, a British think tank; chairman of The Ireland Fund of Great Britain from 2001 to 2009, part of The Ireland Funds;[23] and a member of the advisory council of Business for New Europe, a British pro-European think-tank.[24]

He was a member of the Commission on Human Security set up by the Japanese government that reported to the United Nations in 2003.[25]

In 2005, he was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.[26] In Spring 2006 he was appointed Chair of the London School of Economics (LSE) Council commencing in 2008,[27] a position he held until February 2015.

Sutherland also served on the International Advisory Board of IESE Business School,[28] the graduate business school of Spain's University of Navarra.

In January 2006, he was appointed by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan as his Special Representative for Migration. In this position, he was responsible for promoting the establishment of a Global Forum on Migration and Development, a state-led effort open to all UN members that is meant to help governments better understand how migration can benefit their development goals. The Global Forum was acclaimed by UN member states at the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, in September 2006, and will be launched in Brussels in July 2007.[needs update]

On 5 December 2006, he was appointed as Consultor of the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (a financial adviser to the Vatican).[29]

Sutherland was also co-chairman of the High Level Group appointed by the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Turkey to report on the conclusion of the Doha Round and the future of multilateral trade negotiations. Its report was issued in May 2011.[30]

In May 2012, Sutherland was named Honorary President of the European Policy Centre,[31] a Brussels-based independent think tank.[32]

Later years

Sutherland in 2011
Sutherland in 2011

In an interview with The Irish Times in early 2010,[33] Sutherland revealed that in summer 2009, during a holiday, one of his children noticed a swelling on his throat while they sat on a beach. Within a week he was back home in London undergoing a major operation. Sutherland had an operation for throat cancer in August 2009 and following the operation he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[33]

For Sutherland, a Europhile, the worst part about his illness was missing the "mortal combat" of fighting for the Yes vote in the second Lisbon referendum.[33]

Sutherland visited Fianna Fáil politician Brian Lenihan to tell him what a great job he thought he was doing and to say that Lenihan had the potential to be one of the great taoisigh of the 21st century. Lenihan was taken aback, he said. Sutherland believed Ireland failed in economic terms over most of the past four decades with the exception of a "sparkling period" from 1994 to 2002 when the state took advantage of European Union (EU) changes freeing up the movement of goods, capital and services across Europe.[33]

In November 2010, he renewed his involvement in trade issues when he was appointed co-chair of an Experts Group, created by the heads of government of Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia and Turkey, to report on the priority actions to be taken to combat protectionism and to boost global trade. The Trade Experts Group's interim report was launched at Davos on 28 January 2011.[34]

He was twice offered the job of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by Kofi Annan, a fact, he said, that he had never disclosed publicly before, but he declined both times due to other commitments. He cited his work at GATT and the introduction of the Erasmus student exchange programme when he briefly held the education portfolio at the Commission in 1986 as his two most rewarding achievements.[33]

Death

In September 2016, Sutherland suffered a heart attack while on his way to mass at a Catholic church in London.[35] Six months later, he resigned from his post as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration because of poor health.[citation needed] After a long illness, Sutherland died in Dublin on 7 January 2018, of complications from an infection, aged 71.[36]

Immigration policy

Sutherland strongly advocated unrestricted immigration into the EU. Sutherland gave his opinion to the UK's House of Lords Home Affairs Committee on 21 June 2012 as being (a) that "at the most basic level individuals should have freedom of choice" about working and studying in other countries and that EU states should stop targeting "highly skilled" migrants (and, conversely, placing restrictions on low-skilled migrants). Sutherland also argued (b) that migration is a "crucial dynamic for economic growth" and that this is the case "however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states". Sutherland's stated opinions on policy were (a) that "it was fundamentally important for states to cooperate on migration policy rather than developing their own policies in isolation as 'no state is or can be an island'"[37] (b) that multiculturalism is both inevitable and desirable: "It's impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the other argument can survive because states have to become more open states, in terms of the people who inhabit them" and also (c) that "the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine" any "sense of our homogeneity and difference from others". An ageing or declining native population in countries like Germany or southern EU states was the "key argument and, I hesitate to the use word because people have attacked it, for the development of multicultural states", he added.[38]

Sutherland restated his view in the syndicated article co-authored with Cecilia Malmström titled "Europe's Immigration Challenge", the opening paragraph of which declares:

Europe faces an immigration predicament. Mainstream politicians, held hostage by xenophobic parties, adopt anti-immigrant rhetoric to win over a fearful public, while the foreign-born are increasingly marginalized in schools, cities and at the workplace. Yet, despite high unemployment across much of the Continent, too many employers lack the workers they need. Engineers, doctors and nurses are in short supply; so, too, are farmhands and health aides. And Europe can never have enough entrepreneurs, whose ideas drive economies and create jobs.[39]

In June 2014, Sutherland was appointed President of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC).[40]

Honours, awards and honorary doctorates

Sutherland received a total of fifteen honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and America.[5]

Orders

His awards include:[5]

Other

References

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  2. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Louise Arbour of Canada Special Representative for International Migration | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases" (Press release). United Nations. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "WTO | former director-general Peter Sutherland". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  4. ^ Noonan, Laura (20 May 2015). "Peter Sutherland bows out as Goldman Sachs International chairman". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
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  11. ^ "Leadership at a Time of Transition and Turbulence – A conversation with Peter Sutherland KCMG". Barnard's Inn: Gresham College. 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  12. ^ Heydon, Kenneth; Woolcock, Stephen (2012). The Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy (PDF). Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-4094-5637-7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d e VanGrasstek, Craig (1 July 2013). The History and Future of the World Trade Organization. Geneva: World Trade Organization. doi:10.30875/14b6987e-en. ISBN 978-92-870-3871-5.
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Legal offices Preceded byAnthony J. Hederman Attorney General of Ireland 1981–1982 Succeeded byPatrick Connolly Preceded byJohn L. Murray Attorney General of Ireland 1982–1984 Succeeded byJohn Rogers Political offices Preceded byRichard Burke Irish European Commissioner 1985–1989 Succeeded byRay MacSharry Preceded byFrans Andriessen European Commissioner for Competition 1985–1989 Succeeded byLeon Brittan Non-profit organization positions Preceded byArthur Dunkelas Director-General of the GATT Director-General of the World Trade Organization 1993–1995 Succeeded byRenato Ruggiero Civic offices Preceded byOtto Graf Lambsdorff European Group Chairman of the Trilateral Commission 2001–2010 Succeeded byMario Monti