For­mer WTO chief, UN en­voy Peter Suther­land dies at 71

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - World -

LON­DON -- Ir­ish busi­ness­man and diplo­mat Peter Suther­land, who was the first di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion and held top posts in the Euro­pean Union and the United Na­tions, has died. He was 71.

Suther­land's fam­ily says he died Sun­day at a Dublin hos­pi­tal af­ter a long ill­ness.

Trained as a lawyer, Suther­land was Ire­land's at­tor­ney gen­eral be­tween 1981 and 1984. He was Ire­land's rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion be­tween 1985 and 1989 and helped to stream­line the trade bloc's com­pe­ti­tion pol­icy and set up the hugely pop­u­lar Eras­mus study-abroad pro­gram for Euro­pean stu­dents.

Suther­land be­came found­ing di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the WTO in 1993, and in 2006 was named the U.N. en­voy on in­ter­na­tional mi­gra­tion.

His busi­ness roles in­cluded stints as chair­man of Al­lied Ir­ish Bank, fi­nance firm Gold­man Sachs and oil com­pany BP.

Ir­ish Prime Min­is­ter Leo Varad­kar said Suther­land was “an Ir­ish­man, a com­mit­ted Euro­pean and a proud in­ter­na­tion­al­ist.”

Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker said Suther­land was “a true Euro­pean.”

“He be­lieved strongly in the work of the Euro­pean Union and other in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and their im­por­tance for co­op­er­a­tion and in­ter­na­tional di­a­logue,” Juncker said.

Suther­land is sur­vived by his wife Maruja, three chil­dren and sev­eral grand­chil­dren. (AP)

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