Tag Archives: Peter Sutherland

This morning/afternoon

The Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Mourners at the funeral service for former Fine Gael Attorney General and international banker Peter Sutherland.

From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, President Higgins and Sabina Higgins, Ireland’s European Commissioner Phil Hogan (left) with Attorney General Seamus Woulfe, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Denis O’Brien and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (centre) with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan to his left.

Previously: Suds


EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief (June 12, 2012)

Peter Sutherland, dubbed father of globalisation, dies (Financial Times)




Peter Sutherland on RTÉ’s Six One yesterday evening

Last night.

On RTÉ’s Six One, presenter Bryan Dobson spoke to Peter Sutherland.

Mr Sutherland is a lizard former EU Commissioner for Competition Policy (1985- 1989), former Attorney General (1981-1984), former chairman of Goldman Sachs (1995-2015) , and currently  the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration (since 2006).

They started off speaking about the makeshift refugee camp in Calais, following a news item about a protest having taken place there yesterday – with some locals and truck drivers calling for it to be closed down.

Mr Sutherland talked about how he had been there, how it is appalling and how 70 additional people arrive in Calais every day.

He then talked about the EU response, as a whole, to those seeking refuge in Europe and highlighted the problems a fragmented approach with different countries doing different things.

He called on EU countries to act with more solidarity in mind.

Then, Mr Dobson asked Mr Sutherland about the EU Apple tax ruling.

Grab a tay

Peter Sutherland: “Basically, the British are saying ‘yes, all of those who are in Calais want to get into the United Kingdom but they’re the responsibility of the French because they’re in France and we won’t allow them into Britain, so the French are going to have to deal with this. This creates obviously some tension but it also creates an enormous problem in Calais where people are constantly trying to get on lorries or on trains and it’s very dangerous and many of them are children.”

Bryan Dobson: “Does that, in a sense if you like, encapsulate the way this has been responded to by Europe, that individual states have been passing the buck?”

Sutherland: “Absolutely, and the greatest evidence of that is in the Mediterranean frontline states – Greece and Italy are taking all of the refugees. Everybody leaving Libya, virtually, is delivered, including by our Navy and the British Navy and the Germans to Italy and they are left with this huge number, growing number of refugees and I think this is grossly unfair. The same can be said for Greece.”

Dobson: “But, of course, what happened, the German chancellor Angela Merkel opened up the border, the German borders to invite people in, in this extraordinary gesture last year is that, politically, she’s facing a backlash now, isn’t she? And her political future is in question because the hostility of very many German people just to that policy.”

Sutherland: “It is, absolutely, but in my view she’s a heroine. She’s done something that others have not been prepared to do and virtually all the central and European countries are saying ‘absolutely no’ to refugees. Surely, if we are a community, a European Union, based with a concept of solidarity, we should share and we should share on a logical basis all the refugees.”

Mr Sutherland then went on to say Ireland should ‘do more’ and invite ‘thousands’ to Ireland.

And was asked about the Apple tax ruling.

Dobson: “The Government, you believe, have made the right decision when it decided to appeal?”

Sutherland: “Unquestionably, there was no decision that could be taken, other than to appeal. Otherwise it would be accepting an adjudication which, as I understand it, the Government absolutely contests. I mean the Government’s case appears to be that the Revenue Commissioners, not the Government made the decision on the application of the law in regard to taxation which would be applicable to everybody. It wasn’t a special deal. Now, if that is correct, it seems to me that that is not a state aid.”


Dobson: “Do you think Apple have paid their fair share of tax to whomever it’s due – Ireland, United States, other European countries?”

Sutherland: “I can’t comment on that, I mean what is a fair amount of tax? It seems a ridiculously large sum to have avoided, I don’t know. I’ve no idea, I’ve seen no papers.”

Watch back in full here

Previously: Peter’s Friends


Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 01.58.19Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 01.39.41

Hundreds of thousands of lifejackets in a makeshift dump outside Eftalou, northern Lesbos in early December; and former chair of Goldman Sachs International and UN Special Representative for Migration, Peter Sutherland

Just before Christmas, Ireland’s former Attorney General and the current United Nations Special Representative for International Migration Peter Sutherland criticised the European Union for its response to the refugees and migrant crisis

During a speech, entitled ‘Migration – The Global Challenge Of Our Times’, at the Michael Littleton Memorial Lecture at the RTÉ Radio Centre on December 17, Mr Sutherland, said: “Ruinously selfish behaviour by some member states has brought the EU to its knees.”

In addition, the Irish Times reported:

‘On the way forward, Mr Sutherland said EU member states would be wise to take a “bold step” towards a single European border agency and, eventually, a single European asylum agency. Europe had to properly fund organisations such as the [UN’s] World Food Programme, which was feeding refugees in sprawling camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. He said it was immoral that the only pathway Europe offered to desperate refugees to access protection was to cross the perilous Mediterranean at great cost and risk of death.’


There are 2.2 million Syrian refugees registered in Turkey – 250,000 to 350,000 of whom are living in Government-run refugee camps, with the remaining Syrian refugees living in Turkey left to fend for themselves without access to legal employment.

In 2014, Amnesty International reported:

“According to Turkish government sources, only 15 per cent of Syrian refugees outside official camps receive assistance from humanitarian agencies and organisations. The need to provide basic food and shelter means that families resort to desperate measures to try and make ends meet – even putting their children to work.”

There are also approximately 230,000 asylum-seekers from other countries in Turkey while Lebanon and Jordan are hosting 1.1 million and 633,000 Syrian refugees respectively.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) – referred to by Mr Sutherland in his speech – is described as the ‘food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organisation addressing hunger and promoting food security’.

In September of last year, the Guardian reported that the UN’s humanitarian agencies were “on the verge of bankruptcy and unable to meet the basic needs of millions of people because of the size of the refugee crisis in the Middle East, Africa and Europe”.

It reported:

The deteriorating conditions in Lebanon and Jordan, particularly the lack of food and healthcare, have become intolerable for many of the 4 million people who have fled Syria, driving fresh waves of refugees north-west towards Europe and aggravating the current crisis.”

“This year the World Food Programme cut rations to 1.6 million Syrian refugees. The most vulnerable living in Lebanon now only have $13 to spend on food each month, a figure that the WFP warned would leave refugees vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups. “

In the same Guardian article, it was reported that the UN only received $0.9 billion of the $2.89 billion it requested for its Syria Regional Response Plan.

It explained:

“The majority of the UN’s humanitarian work is funded entirely by voluntary donations from individual governments and private donors, with agencies such as the UNHCR and Unicef receiving none of the regular budget that member states pay into the UN’s central coffers.”

[UN high commissioner for refugees, António] Guterres is leading calls from within the UN to change this system and ask member states to make more regular payments to the main agencies.”

More recently in a TED talk, Mr Guterres said the sharp increase in refugees arriving in Europe in 2015 was largely prompted by the dire conditions facing refugees – particularly in Lebanon and Jordan – which were, in turn, largely due to lack of UN funding.

He said:

“The living conditions of the Syrians in the neighboring countries have been deteriorating. We just had research with the World Bank, and 87 percent of the Syrians in Jordan and 93 percent of the Syrians in Lebanon live below the national poverty lines. Only half of the children go to school, which means that people are living very badly. Not only are they refugees, out of home, not only have they suffered what they have suffered, but they are living in very, very dramatic conditions.”

“And then the trigger was when all of a sudden, international aid decreased. The [UN] World Food Programme was forced, for lack of resources, to cut by 30 percent food support to the Syrian refugees. They’re not allowed to work, so they are totally dependent on international support, and they felt, “The world is abandoning us.” And that, in my opinion, was the trigger. All of a sudden, there was a rush, and people started to move in large numbers and, to be absolutely honest, if I had been in the same situation and I would have been brave enough to do it, I think I would have done the same.”

Such cuts in funding could explain the following.

Between January 1, 2015 and November 14, 2015, an estimated 387,340 people had arrived on Lesbos via rubber dinghies – with the vast majority of these people arriving on the north of the island and spending a night there, in ill-equipped transit camps, until travelling down to Mytilene in the south for registration the following day.

Since November 29 – when the €3billion EU/Turkey deal was struck – the majority of boats arriving on Lesbos have been arriving on the south of the island.

When people arrive off boats they are generally soaked, very cold and their few possessions are either also soaked, and therefore abandoned, or were lost at sea. Some arrivals say they haven’t eaten for days.

According to figures obtained from the UNHCR, as of November 13, 2015 – when there were four “roving” UNHCR staff working in northern Lesbos – the UNHCR had provided the following by way of food, blankets and clothes in the area:

50,400 high-energy or sesame bars. These included 19,600 high-energy bars in Skala Sikaminias; 12,300 high-energy bars and 3,600 sesame bars in Molyvos; and 14,900 high-energy bars in Mantamados. They were distributed via their partner groups Starfish, MsF, Eurorelief, Samaritan’s Purse and the International Rescue Committee.

16,390 blankets. These included the distribution of 2,810 blankets in Mantamados, 3,605 in Skala Sikaminias and 9,975 in Molyvos.

1,913 raincoats. These were distributed in Molyvos.

The UNHCR spokeswoman said:

“UNHCR has significantly ramped up its presence in Lesvos and UNHCR staffing is being increased. Thirteen additional staff have been deployed, many speaking the language of the refugees, and bringing the total staff on Lesvos to 30. As you are aware, the situation is very challenging in all areas. At the North, new arrivals neither stay nor get registered by the Greek authorities. Thus, it is important for us to also focus in providing them protection and assistance the accommodation/registration sites near Mytilene, where people stay for a longer time than in the north.”

“UNHCR staff engage in a range of activities. Among others, they provide information to the new arrivals as regards the situation on the island, the processes that they have to go through, their rights and responsibilities…”

Alessandra Morelli, regional operations chief for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recently spoke of her appreciation of the efforts of volunteers on the island of Lesbos, telling the Wall Street Journal: “Everyone recognises [the volunteer efforts]. But “now it’s time to bring professionals.”

Further to this.

In an open letter to the former chairman of Goldman Sachs International, Mr Sutherland – that has been circulating on social media and Reddit in recent days – a man called Patrick Holland writes:

“This refugee problem was brought about by the so called policy of ‘regime change’ favoured by some members of the US government and their lobbyists and the military-industrial business people, banking and big oil interests, including the neo conservatives…”

“Massive amounts of money are being made from these wars, supplying all sides of the conflict. Many newspapers report increased revenues and profits for military industrial interests and large banking interests which are involved in these conflicts in the Middle East. Several of these neo conservatives, lobbyists and military-industrial business people, banking and oil interests, are personal friends of yours, Mr Sutherland, you have met them in Bilderberg meetings, Trilateral Commission meetings, European Roundtable meetings, Goldman Sachs meetings, BP meetings, and WTO meetings.”

“You should get these people to stop their wars, stop their game playing in the Middle East. Use your influence, your power, your position, the press and media, your political connections, and your Goldman Sachs, Bilderberg and Trilateral connections to do this. This would help end the refugee problem…”

Selfishness on refugees has brought EU ‘to its knees’ (Irish Times)

Related: The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?Charlie Skelton (The Guardian, July 12, 2012)

Previously: In Their Backyard

Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie


UCD old boy Peter Sutherland at the official opening of a new €25million law school in University College Dublin today which the college have kindly named after him.

The largest theatre in the new €25 million  Lizard School of Economic Management UCD Sutherland School of Law also serves as a ceremonial moot court. In this simulated courtroom setting students will better develop their advocacy, dispute resolution, client counselling and negotiation skills


Mr Sutherland was a Fine Gael-appointed former attorney general of Ireland in the 1980s and a former EU Competition Commissioner. He is chairman of the London School of Economics, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Migration and non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International. And is a leading member of the illuminati the secretive Bilderberg Group. Your basic human greed machine.

He’s also helping the Vatican with their finances.

Good times.

Thanks Jason Clarke