Let the memory of Peter be with us forever
  • 71 years old
  • Born on April 25, 1946 .
  • Passed away on January 7, 2018 .

Former UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for International Migration (SRSG)
Founding Father of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

Peter was 71 years of age and died at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin on Sunday January 7th in the presence of his family. He is survived by his loving wife Maruja, née Cabria Valcarcel, his children Shane, Natalia and Ian, ten grandchildren, his sisters Jill and Karen, his brother-in-law David Brennan, his daughters-in-law, his son-in-law, his wider family and friends.

Peter was born in Dublin on April 25, 1946. He went to school at Gonzaga College SJ which helped to instill a strong religious faith and where he formed lifelong friendships. He studied law at University College, Dublin and at the King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 1969 and practiced law until 1981 when he became Attorney General of Ireland. He was a member of the European Commission from 1985 to 1989.  Between 1989 and 1993, Peter was chairman of AIB plc and a director of CRH plc and GPA. From 1993 to 1995, he was Director General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and subsequently the World Trade organisation. He was subsequently a Partner at and Chairman of Goldman Sachs International and Chairman of BP plc among numerous other roles in the commercial and not-for-profit sector. In 2006, he was proud to be asked to be United Nations Special Representative on Migration by then-Secretary General Kofi Annan. He was renewed in that role by Ban Ki-moon. In 2015, Peter retired from all commercial activities to concentrate on his UN work.

Posted by Regine De Clercq on 8th January 2019
Dear Peter, if you saw us from above, you must have been proud to look down on Marrakech in December, with the 11 th session of the GFMD that went so well and the wide acceptance of the Global Compact on Migration...notwithstanding some note worthy absentees... Countries and governments have to make up their mind as far as migration is concerned, to continue the current chaos or to decide to manage it better, in cooperation with others !!! We all have to work towards sustainable migration patterns that work for all ! Regine, your comrade in arms !!!
Posted by BIKASH CHOWDHURY BARUA on 25th April 2018
Dear Peter, you are in our thoughts. We remember you and your work with deep respect. Regards, Bikash Chowdhury / BASUG (www.basug.eu) Netherlands
Posted by Hanna Simon on 25th April 2018
One year already !!! But Mr. Sutherland will always stay with us in spirit because his thoughts still lead the GFMD Rest in peace Mr. Sutheland. You will always be remembered
Posted by Victorine Badohoun Womits... on 16th January 2018
Toutes mes condoléances à la famille éplorée. Que Peter Sutherland se repose en paix.
Posted by GUIGUENDE MOUMINI on 15th January 2018
May Mr Sutherland rest in peace. I met him during the GFMD of Istanbul, 2015. It is a big lost of us. R.I.P.
Posted by Regine De Clercq on 14th January 2018
Peter, I will admit to a conspiracy...! When you asked me on phone in the Spring of 2006 how I envisaged the follow up to the UN High level dialogue of September 2006 and the possibility that the GFMD might be the right mechanism, if there were not so many countries opposing it...I told you, and what if we simply created it ...and should I see if the Belgian government would agree to that ???? An exciting adventure followed, with many more telephone conversations, hatching out itàs structure, work method and partners... and after over 10 years the GFMD is there to stay..Your tireless effort to keep it on track and give it meaning will not be forgotten and I have fond memories of this fruitfull cooperation. It is a pitty that people like you have to die, I wish you and your family the comfort that you were not in this world in vain and left it a better place through all your many important endeavours, guided by a exceptional clarity of mind, the courage of saying what you believed to be right and your steadfast belief in a better future for all.
Posted by Nassia Ioannou on 12th January 2018
For us who have collaborated within GFMD from the very beginning , he was Peter, a bright personality dedicated to migrants and refugees. He is irreplaceable and a huge loss for the case of a more human based global migration system. Only he had the courage and the status to accuse politicians and the mass media for spreading "toxic" discourse on migration. May His soul rest in peace!
Posted by Mauritius Embassy on 12th January 2018
Dear Sir/Madam, We have learnt with deep sorrow of the passing away of Sir Peter Sutherland, Founder of GFMD. In my capacity as Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Geneva, I had the honour and opportunity to work with Sir Peter Sutherland on migration issues and our collaboration culminated in the holding of the GFMD Meeting in Mauritius in 2012, and we have had also the opportunity to work closely with him in GFMD subsequence conferences and appreciated his leadership and guidance on GFMD issues. We are confident that the spirit of work of Sir Peter Sutherland will remain alive among the international community through his outstanding contribution and the milestones he has set to meet the challenges of global migration. The Embassy of the Republic of Mauritius joins me in extending our deepest condolences to all those affected by the demise of Sir Peter Sutherland, including the bereaved family. Israhyananda Dhalladoo Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Posted by Suzan Muhsen on 12th January 2018
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations Office and other International Organization at Geneva, has the honour on behalf of the Government and people of Iraq, to extend its deepest condolences to Mr. Sutherland’s family, his colleagues, and to the GFMD group for the loss of Mr. Peter Sutherland. May he rest in peace.
Posted by Business Mechanism on 9th January 2018
The organizations, companies and individuals associated with the Business Mechanism to the GFMD mourn the untimely loss of Peter Sutherland. Throughout his distinguished and varied career, Mr. Sutherland exhibited a rare ability to forge connections among both institutions and ideas. He recognized the importance of bringing to bear all the resources of society - governments, civil society, and business - to address global challenges. A man of great compassion, he understood that humanitarian crises, such as those arising from flows of migrants and refugees, are equally crises of development and economics, and that business therefore has an essential role to play in addressing migration issues. His stature and his moral example served as an inspiration to those of us privileged to know and work with him. The world is a poorer place without Peter Sutherland. We send our sincerest condolences to Mr. Sutherland’s family and to his colleagues, and we will do our best to honor his memory by serving the cause to which he dedicated these last years of his life. The Business Mechanism to the GFMD
Posted by Bikash Chowdhury Barua on 9th January 2018
The world has lost a great person, who worked very hard for the cause of migration. Being a member of the GFMD civil society international steering committee I had the privilege to see him from a close distance how dedicated and commutted he was to the cause of migration. His loss can not be replaced. Our hats off to him and we pray for the departed soul. Regards..Bikash Chowdhury Barua, Chairman. BASUG. Netherlands.
Posted by Hanna Simon on 9th January 2018
The world has just lost one of the most dedicated people on the international arena. I remember Mr. Sutherland from almost ten years of presence and encouragement at GFMD meetings and from his "Sutherland Report". I had and still have very high respect for him. His work will always be remembered. On behalf of the people and Government of Eritrea and on my own behalf, I extend deepest condolences first to his spouse and his children, then to his extended family and at last to the GFMD group. May he rest in peace Hanna

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