Top of the Morning: Deal Reached in Durban; DRC Elections Getting Messier

Top stories from the Development and Aid Workers News Service — DAWNS Digest.

COP 17 Deal Reached in Durban

In a rather dramatic 11th hour diplomatic breakthrough, delegates at the international climate talks reached a generally decent agreement on an outline for future emissions curbs and financing. “The result, coming as the sun rose after nearly 72 hours of continuous wrangling, marked an important but very initial step toward the dismantling of a 20-year-old system that requires advanced industrialized nations to cut emissions while allowing developing countries — including the economic powerhouses China, India and Brazil — to escape binding commitments. The deal on a future treaty was the most contested element of a package of agreements that emerged from the extended talks here. For now it remains a pledge to move forward, and all the details remain to be negotiated. The delegates also agreed on the creation of a fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change — though the precise sources of the money have yet to be determined — and to measures involving the preservation of tropical forests and the development of clean-energy technology.” (NYT

DRC Elections: A Total Mess

Yes, it has gotten this bad: Laurent Kabilla and Etienne Tshisekedi have both declared themselves the victors while international election monitors say that irregularities at the polls were so serious the results lack credibility. “In a statement, the Carter Center, which had 26 teams of observers monitoring the elections, pointed to differences in the vote count between areas where Mr Kabila had strong support and areas that favoured Mr Tshisekedi. Some constituencies in Katanga province “reported impossibly high rates of 99 to 100% voter turnout with all, or nearly all, votes going to incumbent President Joseph Kabila”, the Center said. Meanwhile in Kinshasa, where Mr Tshisekedi has strong support, results from nearly 2,000 polling station stations were lost – roughly a fifth of the city’s total. The Center said the violations it had documented does not mean “the final order of candidates is necessarily different” from official results. But it said that further analysis of preliminary results could reveal further discrepancies in the vote counting process.” (BBC  Carter Center analysis of voting irregularities. (Carter center