This is the WTO building on Lake Geneva.
This is The man who put so much energy into the Doha negotiations, the WTO director, Mr. Pascal Lamy.
The photo is from 2004, but he must feel much the same, on 29 July 2008.
The Doha "development round" failed because the so-called "international community" did not have sufficient communal gloals.
At the end of the day it boils down to the protection of one's own country interests or - rather - what the country elites perceive being the country interests.
Short term commercial and political goals dominate the agenda. Normal. Why not?
Long term deliberations are absent, especially those that deal with "development", which - you guessed it - actually means economic expansion, commonly known as economic growth.
The rationale of our countries, which constitute the WTO, is economic growth.
My delegates at the WTO don't ask whether growth knows limits or not. They don't even think about it. And when they are asked, the answer is invariably that we have no choice.
Growth ist a must, for all the known reasons.
So the disappointment is great with all parties and optimistically they pledge to continue the efforts.
Some people, predominently the farmers, were happy. Because they believe that protection is a good thing and that the livelihoods of farmers should not be exchanged for the short-term gains of industry.
At the end of the day, when resources are becoming really scarce in all quarters, not just in the developing countries, we will understand that we can't survive on a multitude of technological gadgets of our modern age.
We will see that we can no longer afford consuming non-renewables for things other than the basic necessities of life, being food, shelter and health. Virtually all overpopulated areas are doomed to disappear, from the Maldives to the megacities across hte globe.
As happiness is relative, we'll be as happy as today - or even happier because we gain in having a better outlook on our common future - on a much lower level of trade and international commerce.
What would people say if they could speak out democratically - instead of being told in the normal frontal format?
We are sending this ecostory to Mr Pascal Lamy and see what he says.
Thursday, 31 July 2008 - Helmut Lubbers ecological psychologist and environmental scientist