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Learning English - Words in the News
 
08 June, 2007 - Published 13:06 GMT
 
Calls to ensure conflict-free cocoa
 
Report says cocoa trade has funded years of conflict in Ivory Coast
Chocolate's main ingredient is cocoa

International anti-exploitation campaigners, Global Witness, has issued a new report entitled "Hot Chocolate". It asks the United Nations and multinational chocolate companies to introduce changes to make sure profits from chocolate sales no longer provide money for conflict. David Bamford reports:

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Wars in Africa need to be paid for and many of the continent's most bitter conflicts take place in areas richest in natural resources. Global Witness says that in the same way that blood diamonds have adversely affected the lives of people in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and oil has fuelled violence in the Niger Delta, so cocoa has done the same in Ivory Coast. This is the world's biggest producer of cocoa -- the main product that goes into making chocolate.

Since 2002, the cocoa region has been split between government and rebel-held regions. According to Global Witness, millions of dollars worth of cocoa revenue have funded both sides in the conflict, with the tacit acceptance of the cocoa companies based in America and Europe.

Global Witness takes the view that the chocolate industry has a responsibility to ensure that the profits it makes from the products it sells are conflict-free. The companies can do this through careful monitoring and auditing. The Ivory Coast's finances, it says, should be more transparent and the UN Security Council should threaten sanctions against those who divert cocoa revenue into West African conflicts.

David Bamford, BBC Africa Editor

Listen to the words

blood diamonds
diamonds which are sold or exchanged to pay for equipment, ammunition and people who are involved in a war

fuelled
helped a situation to continue and worsen, in this case, violence

rebel-held regions
areas that are controlled and in the power of people who are trying to change the political system in their country by using force

revenue
the regular income of a company provided by sales or services

tacit acceptance
indirectly allowing something to happen by not speaking out against it and by continuing to be involved with it, here, taking part in the cocoa trade while having an understanding that it provides money for conflict

conflict-free
not used to pay for wars

monitoring
watching and checking a situation in order to learn something about it

auditing
making an official examination of the financial records of a company

transparent
clear and easy for others to understand

sanctions
severe, official orders which stop trade and contact with a country to make it obey international laws

 
 
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