|Former Director-General of the World Trade Organization|
1 July 1993 – 1 May 1995
|Preceded by||Arthur Dunkel as Director-General of the GATT|
|Succeeded by||Renato Ruggiero|
|Born||Peter Denis Sutherland
25 April 1946
Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland
|Alma mater||University College Dublin|
Peter Denis Sutherland, (born 25 April 1946) is an Irish international businessman and former Attorney General of Ireland, associated with the Fine Gael party (part of the European People's Party bloc). He is a barrister by profession, and is also Senior Counsel at the Irish Bar. He is also known for serving in a variety of business and political roles.
Early and personal life
Sutherland was born on 25 April 1946, in Foxrock, Dublin, Ireland, to William George "Billy" Sutherland (died 20 January 2005) and Barbara Nealon (died 30 December 2010). His father was an insurance broker of Scottish ancestry (William George Sutherland’s grandfather migrated to Ireland from Scotland in the mid 1800s), while his mother’s parents were Irish, originating from County Cork. Sutherland has two living sisters, Jill and Karen, as well as a deceased brother David (died 9 February 2006). He is married to the Spanish-born Maruja and has three adult children with her; Shane, Ian and Natalia.
He was educated at Gonzaga College, a Jesuit day school in Dublin and then studied law at University College Dublin. He played prop forward for the UCD rugby team and was club captain, a role he later filled at Landsdowne Football Club, before retiring from the sport in his mid-20s. He remains an active member of Lansdowne F.C.
Attorney General and politics
After UCD, he studied at the King's Inns in Dublin and was called to the Bar in 1969. At the 1973 Irish general election, he stood as a Fine Gael candidate in the Dublin North–West constituency. He received 1,969 votes (6.2%) but was not elected. In 1981, aged 34, he became the youngest Attorney General of Ireland. He served under two Governments led by Garret FitzGerald. He also advised the FitzGerald government on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland which introduced a constitutional ban on abortion, though Sutherland opposed the wording on grounds that it was ambiguous and unclear.
EU Commissioner and head of the World Trade Organisation
He was appointed to the European Commission in 1985 and had responsibility for competition policy and, initially for 1985 only, also for education. He has said that he was especially pleased to have proposed the establishment of the ERASMUS programme (European Regional Action Scheme for Mobility of University Students) that allows European university students to study in other member states.
He was Chairman of the Committee that produced The Sutherland Report on the completion of the Internal Market of the EEC, commissioned by the European Commission and presented to the European Council at its Edinburgh meeting in 1992.
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. Subsequently he was Director General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organisation). Later Mickey Kantor, the US Trade Minister, credited him with being the father of globalization and said that without him there would have been no WTO. 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"  which was the biggest trade agreement in history and established the World Trade Organisation. His integral role in the successful conclusion of these negotiations has been cited as "indispensable". 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”.
A recent book by Craig VanGrasstek of the Havard Kennedy School, The History and Future of the World Trade Organisation published by the WTO, 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”. 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.
Chairman of the Advisory Council to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation that produced the Report on the Future of the World Trade Organisation published in 2005.
He is non-executive Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (a registered UK broker-dealer, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs). Until June 2009 he was non-executive chairman of BP being replaced by Carl-Henric Svanberg formerly chief executive officer of Ericsson. Sutherland was a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group until he was asked to leave the board when it had to be taken over by the UK government to avoid bankruptcy. He also formerly served on the board of ABB.
He is on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group, he is an Honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (2010 -), he was Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (Europe) (2001–2010) and was vice chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (2006–2009).
He was appointed as a member of the Hong Kong Chief Executive's Council of International Advisers in the years of 1998–2005.
He is President of the Federal Trust for Education and Research, a British think tank. He was Chairman of The Ireland Fund of Great Britain from 2001 to 2009, part of The Ireland Funds. He is a member of the advisory council of Business for New Europe, a British pro-European think-tank.
In 2005, he was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. In Spring 2006 he was appointed Chair of London School of Economics Council commencing in 2008.
In January 2006, he was appointed by United Nations 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.
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).
In September 2010 ahead of the Irish government budget for 2011, Sutherland said of a proposed €3bn cut in expenditures, “The figure of €3 billion has been postulated as the improvement to be sought in the next budget,” he said. “We are told that this is all that the political system can bear, but if all the mainstream political parties accept that more is required – although disagreeing perhaps about where to find the €3 billion – and are prepared to say it, we can find a way.” Sutherland said a default on State debts would leave the Government without the capacity to manage its affairs or raise finance. “It simply is not an option to choose,” he said.
Sutherland is also co-Chairman of the High Level Group appointed by the Governments of Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia and Turkey to report on the conclusion of the Doha Round and the future of multilateral trade negotiations. Report issued in May 2011.
In an interview with The Irish Times in early 2010, 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.
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.
Sutherland visited 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 says. Sutherland believes 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 EU changes freeing up the movement of goods, capital and services across Europe.
Outside banking, Sutherland in early 2010 finished a 13-year stint as chairman of BP, Europe’s largest oil company. At one point during his tenure, the company was valued on the stock market at £236 billion (it is currently worth about £120 billion) and was making £42 million a day in profits.
He was twice offered the job of UN High Commissioner for Refugees by Kofi Annan, a fact, he says, that he has never disclosed publicly before, but he declined both times due to other commitments. He cites 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.
Regarding the next stage of his career, Surtherland disclosed that he has decided to join three boards – at German insurer Allianz; Koç Holding, Turkey’s largest conglomerate; and a shipping company, BW Shipping located in Singapore.
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 January 28, 2011.
Views on immigration
Sutherland strongly advocates liberal immigration policies and mass immigration into the European Union. Sutherland gave his opinion to the UK’s Lords home affairs committee on the 21st 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 argues (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'" (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”.
Sutherland restated his view in the syndicated article co-authored with Cecilia Malmström entitled “Immigration challenge: Europe’s politicians should accept diverse social communities”, 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”.
Sutherland and Malmström also argue in the above article that “Last year, during the Arab revolutions, the EU missed a historic opportunity to begin weaving together the two sides of the Mediterranean.” Sutherland is also quoted as arguing that opposition to greater globalisation is "morally indefensible".
Honours, awards and honorary doctorates
- Honorary Fellow of OXONIA, The Oxford Institute For Economic Policy
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, St Louis University (1985)
- The Gold Medal of the European Parliament (1988)
- Robert Schuman Medal (1988)
- The First European Law Prize (Paris 1988)
- European Person of the Year Award (1988)
- The David Rockefeller International Leadership Award (1998)
- Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit (Spain 1989)
- The Irish People of the Year Award (1989)
- Grand Cross of Order of Leopold II (Belgium 1989)
- New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal (1990)
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, National University of Ireland (1990)
- Knight of the Legion of Honour (France 1993)
- The Consumer for World Trade Annual Award (1994)
- Commandeur of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco 1994)
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, Bath University (1995)
- Order of Rio Branco (Brazil 1996)
- The Dean’s Medal, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, (1996)
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, University of Reading (1997)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique (Portugal 1998)
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, Nottingham University (1999)
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, Exeter University (2000)
- Foundation Day Medal, University College Dublin (2004)
- Honorary Knighthood of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK 2004)
- Honorary Doctorate of Law, Queens University, Belfast (2004)
- Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of Sussex (2008)
- Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory (con placca) (2008)
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA (2009)
- Honorary Fellowship of London School of Business
- Honorary Vice President of the University College Dublin Law Society (2011)
- Honorary Fellow of St Benet's Hall, Oxford (2013)
Sutherland has received a total of fifteen honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and America (inclusive of the above).
- http://www.ucd.ie/news/2008/07JUL08/310708_sutherland.html Minister gives green light for new law school
- "SUTHERLAND : Acknowledgement notice". Irish Times. 20 January 2011.
- "SUTHERLAND, Barbara : Death notice". Irish Times. 4 January 2011.
- "SUTHERLAND : Death notice". Irish Times. 16 February 2006.
- "The Tablet's Top 100".
- "Archive of European Integration".
- "Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy (Heydon & Woolcock, 2012, p. 58)]".
- The History and Future of the World Trade Organization (Craig VanGrasstek, 2013, p.69)
- The History and Future of the World Trade Organization (Craig VanGrasstek, 2013, p.70)
- The History and Future of the World Trade Organization (Craig VanGrasstek, 2013)
- The History and Future of the World Trade Organization (Craig VanGrasstek, 2013, p.46)
- The History and Future of the World Trade Organization (Craig VanGrasstek, 2013, p.85)
- The Future of the WTO
- "Governance". Bilderberg Meetings. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- "The trilateral commission". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- European Round Table website
- Public Management and European Governance: The Role of EIPA PDF
- "?".[dead link]
- "CE discusses economic issues with international advisers". Press release. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Macau in the context of EU-China relations
- The Ireland Funds website
- "BNE Party Conference Programme". Business for New Europe. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- "Final report for Commission on Human Security".
- "?". United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- "The latest press releases from LSE". LSE. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- "IESE News – Top Stories". IESE Business school – University of Navarra. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- The Guardian Business news
- RTÉ. "Call for higher education system reform". Friday, 22 January 2010 15:57
- The Irish Times – Saturday, 23 January 2010. "Sutherland says number of universities must be cut". Sean Flynn Education Editor.
- The Irish Times – Last Updated: Friday, 22 January 2010, 13:21. "Call for fewer universities".
- Cuts not enough – Sutherland
- "Final Report of the High Level Trade Experts Group".
- "The ultimate social networker". The Irish Times. 30 January 2010.
- "The EU’s Global Approach to Migration and Mobility". UK Parliament. p. 48. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "The Oxonia Website".
- Aguisíní Appendices PDF
- "Times Higher Education list of Honorary Degrees for Bristol University".
- "University of Exeter list of Honorary Doctorates".
- Royal Irish Academy Annual Report 2002- 2003 PDF
- "University of Sussex press release".
- "The Ireland Chamber of Commerce, American Celtic Ball Honorees 2008".
- Lord Woolf's Inquiry into the LSE and Libya, March 2011. Make a submission.
- The Archive of Peter Sutherland
Anthony J. Hederman
|Attorney General of Ireland
John L. Murray
|Attorney General of Ireland
|Irish European Commissioner
|European Commissioner for Competition
|Non-profit organization positions|
|Director-General of the World Trade Organization