23/01/2006
Secretary-General
SG/A/976
BIO/3735

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note


SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS PETER SUTHERLAND AS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR MIGRATION


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is delighted to announce that Peter Sutherland has agreed to act as his Special Representative to assist in the preparation of the high-level dialogue on international migration and development, to be held by the General Assembly in September. 


Mr. Sutherland -- a former Attorney General of Ireland, former European Union Commissioner and former Director-General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization -- is currently Chairman of BP plc.  He is also an honorary Ambassador for United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and has previously been a member of the Commission on Human Security (the idea for which was launched at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000).  He has indicated that he wishes his new assignment to be on a pro bono basis.


The General Assembly has requested the Secretary-General “to prepare a comprehensive overview of studies and analyses on the multidimensional aspects of migration and development, including the effects of migration on economic and social development in developed and developing countries, and on the effects of the movements of highly skilled migrant workers and those with advanced education”, while also addressing short-term and seasonal workers within the context of labour movements. The Secretary-General hopes to provide this overview, drawing on various inputs, including in particular the report and recommendations of the Global Commission on International Migration, at latest by the end of May. He looks forward to benefiting from the advice of Mr. Sutherland, as well as other experts, in the preparation of the overview, and he relies on him to help bring it to the attention of Member States at the highest level during the run-up to the high-level dialogue.


Mr. Sutherland said today: “Migration can be an enormous force for good: one of the great drivers of economic growth, individual liberty and personal prosperity. As such, I am delighted to undertake this assignment for Kofi Annan. The goal is to maximise the benefits of migration and minimise potentially negative impacts.”


See biographical details below:


Peter D. Sutherland is Chairman of BP plc (1997 - current).  He is also Chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995 - current).


Of Irish nationality, he was born on 25 April 1946 and was educated at Gonzaga College, University College Dublin and the King’s Inns.  Mr. Sutherland graduated in Civil Law.  He was also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.  From 1969 to 1981 he practised at the Bar.  He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple, London and is an Honorary Bencher of the King’s Inns.


In addition to his Chairmanships listed above, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, and is associated with the following organizations:  Trilateral Commission (Europe), Chairman; World Economic Forum, Foundation Board Member; the European Institute (United States), Director; Chief Executive’s Council of International Advisers, Hong Kong; the Federal Trust, President; Chairman of the Consultative Board of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization; and Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (2 March 2005).


Prior to his current position, Mr Sutherland served as:  Attorney General of Ireland (1981-1984); European Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy (1985-1989); Chairman of Allied Irish Banks (1989-1993); and Director-General of the World Trade Organization, formerly GATT (1993-1995).


His awards include an honorary Knighthood (United Kingdom 2004), the Gold Medal of the European Parliament (1988), the First European Law Prize (Paris 1988), the David Rockefeller International Leadership Award (1998), the Grand Cross of Civil Merit (Spain 1989), the Grand Cross of King Leopold II (Belgium 1989), the New Zealand Commemorative Medal (1990), Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (France 1993) Commandeur du Wissam (Morocco 1994) the Order of Rio Branco (Brazil 1996) and the Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique (Portugal 1998).  He was also presented with the Robert Schuman Medal for his work for European Integration.  Furthermore, he received the European Person of the Year Award (1988), the Irish People of the Year Award (1989), the Consumer for World Trade Annual Award (1994) for distinguished service, and the Dean’s Medal (1996) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


He has received 14 honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and America.  He was awarded an honorary fellowship of the London Business School in recognition of his contribution to business and trade (1997).


His publications include the book Premier Janvier 1993 ce qui va changer en Europe (1989) and numerous articles in law journals. He chaired the Committee that reported to the European Economic Community (EEC) Commission on the functioning of the Internal Market after 1992 (the Sutherland Report).


Mr Sutherland is married and has three children.  His leisure interests include reading and sport.


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