New Thrust to International Solidarity
M A Baby
THE 18th International Meeting of the Communist and Workers' Parties (IMCWP) saw a renewed vigor and determination in the resolve to work together in the coming days. This is quite natural as the IMCWP was held for the first time in a socialist country, Vietnam, ever since the process began with the first meeting held in 1999 in Greece.
India can legitimately claim to have given the inspiration for this idea as the CPI(M) organised an international seminar on the 'Contemporary World Situation and the Validity of Marxism' in 1993, coinciding with the 175th birth anniversary of Karl Marx. The international seminar was held immediately after the setbacks suffered by the USSR and East European countries in building socialism and their disintegration. The seminar held in Calcutta, West Bengal, was a significant success as summed up by Com Harikishan Singh Surjeet. He said in his concluding remarks that the communist and workers' parties, notwithstanding some differences on perceptions, agreed on some basic concepts such as: (a) Marxism is a creative science and it is as valid today as it was when it was propounded and it remains a guide to action; (b) that setbacks have been due to distortions and deviations and they do not constitute either the negation of the science of Marxism or the goal of socialism; (c) that socialism remains the objective for all the communist and workers' parties; (d) that class struggle is the motive force of history; (e) that capitalism – based on exploitation of man by man cannot provide remedies to the ills of present society; (f) that imperialism remains the main enemy of mankind and we have to unite all forces in the struggle against it and defend socialist countries against its attack and (g) that the communist and workers' parties defending Marxism lead the working class and other toiling millions towards achieving socialism.
Forty two comrades representing eleven communist and workers' parties participated in the Calcutta seminar. Three parties, as they could not come sent their papers. Eight parties, including the Communist Party of China have sent messages of greetings.
Six years later, in 1999, when the first meeting of communist and workers' parties was held in Greece, 55 parties from 46 countries participated. In the 18th meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam, over 108 comrades representing 57 communist and workers' parties from 49 countries participated and creatively contributed in the deliberations.
Hoang Binh Quan, head of the Communist Party of Vietnam's Commission for External Relations, welcoming the participants, delivered the inaugural address. He underlined the significance of promoting the struggle for peace, independence and sovereignty as well as workers' rights. He stressed that the CPV attaches importance to national independence and building of socialism as well as having an independent external affairs policy of self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development. Quan also stated that the country pays attention to reinforcing and enhancing relations with socialist countries, traditional friends and communist and workers' parties around the world.
The inaugural address was followed by the presentations of all the participating parties about their understanding of the present international developments and their impact upon their respective countries. After the interventions of all the participating parties, the IMCWP decided on the constitution of the new working group and also adopted a joint appeal. There were occasions when no joint communique or appeal could be approved and issued by the participating parties. Therefore, the practice used to be to entrust the host party to issue the statement about the outcome of the meeting. This time in Vietnam, a joint appeal (full text in the box) could be agreed upon by the participants after protracted consultations and discussions covering most of the important areas of major issues in the present day world.
Another important development is the interest shown by powerful parties to involve in the work of this process in a more active and engaging manner. For example, though both the Communist Party of China and Workers' Party of Korea used to attend most of the IMCWP plenaries, they have not evinced interest in becoming part of the working group of the process. Though working group of the IMCWP is only a functional arrangement, it in fact, is playing an important role in the continuation of the process and in facilitating to evolve a consensus on many issues. Hence, the participation of such important parties from different continents with rich experiences would definitely contribute positively for the strengthening of the IMCWP.
Appeal of the 18th IMCWP
THE 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held on October 28-30, 2016 in Hanoi, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, under the theme “Capitalist crisis and imperialist offensive - Strategy and tactics of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in struggle for peace, workers’ and peoples’ rights, socialism”,
Having discussed the world situation and the growing challenges faced by humanity, nations, workers and peoples of many countries, particularly the worsening socio-economic and environmental crises, the increasing insecurity and instability in many parts of the world, caused by capitalism, deepened capitalist crisis, imperialist interventions, interference and machinations, fostering the emergence of so-called ‘ISIS’ and other extremist criminal forces, as well as refugee crises;
Stressing that socialism is the only real alternative to the on-going economic, social and ecological crises, to capitalist exploitation and barbarity;
Saluting the struggles of the people and workers in all parts of the world against capitalism and imperialist offensive, for labour, social and democratic rights, gender equality, national independence and sovereignty, peace and socialism;
Emphasising the historical significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia in the context of its forthcoming 100th anniversary in 2017;
Being encouraged by the achievements and experiences of the struggle of and cooperation among communist and workers’ parties in the previous years;
Calls upon Communist and Workers Parties to develop common and convergent actions along the following axis:
- Intensifying theoretical and practical works and exchanges on building socialism in the 21st Century;
- Working together towards the joint commemoration of 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution to highlight its historical significance in paving the way for a new period in human history, the contribution of socialism to advance the struggle of workers and peoples for their emancipation, and the need to strengthen the struggle for peace, social progresses and socialism; organising diverse related activities;
- Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the publication of "Das Capital" by Karl Marx;
- Promoting exchange of strategies, tactics and experiences to strengthen the fight against all forms of capitalist ideological and political imposition and offensive, to strengthen communists and workers parties and to enhance mobilisation of the working people and wider masses, particularly youth, students and women, in the anti-imperialist struggles, for labour, social, trade union and democratic rights, and socialism;
- Strengthening activities to defend democratic freedoms and rights, against anti-communism and all forms of discrimination, to express solidarity with communists in Ukraine and other countries who face persecution and bans on their activity; organising, preferably in the week of May 5-11, 2017, activities against fascism and neo-nazis on the occasion of the anniversary of the Victory over Nazi-fascism (9/5/1945);
- Broadening the anti-imperialist front to enhance the struggle for peace, against imperialist occupation, interventions and interference into internal affairs of other countries, against NATO and its expansion, against nuclear weapons, militarisation and foreign military bases, for the peaceful and just settlement of all conflicts based on the principles of international law;
- Intensifying activities to demand the ending of the US blockade against Cuba, to support the right of Palestinian people to a free, sovereign and independent state and to express solidarity with all peoples in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe who face imperialist occupation, intervention, interference and blockade.
Finally, the participating Communist and Workers Parties thank the Communist Party and people of Vietnam for the hospitality and confirmed their unwavering long standing support to and solidarity with Vietnamese people in building and defending the socialist country.