Mary Davis reports in the Morning Star on the 12th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, which took place under the banner of "The deepening systemic crisis of capitalism - The tasks of communists in defence of sovereignty, deepening social alliances, strengthening the anti-imperialist front in the struggle for peace, progress and socialism." Read the TSHWANE Declaration.

Representing the Communist Party of Britain, I was one of 102 delegates representing 51 parties from 43 countries.

The conference agreed a declaration to promote and develop common action around a shared perspective. It pointed to the systemic and deepening capitalist crisis. Such a crisis is not merely attributable to the greed of bankers or financial speculators.

It remains a crisis embedded in capitalism itself which is compounded by significant shifts in the international balance of forces. The crisis has intensified competition between imperialist centres and between established and emerging powers.

Faced with these realities, capital is fighting back, seeking to preserve profits and to transfer the burden of its crisis onto the working class by intensifying exploitation based on gender and age, the urban and rural poor, and a wide range of middle strata.

As exploitation is being intensified the state steps in to rescue private bankers and finance houses, exposing future generations to unsustainable levels of debt and intensifying efforts to roll back social gains.

In the entire capitalist world, labour, social, economic, political and social security rights are being abolished.

At the same time political systems are being made more reactionary, restricting democratic and civil liberties, especially trade union rights.

The retrenchments, including major spending cuts in the public sector, are having a devastating impact on workers, especially women workers.

There are also attempts to divert popular distress and insecurity into reactionary demagogy, racism and xenophobia.

These expressions of anti-democratic and authoritarian tendencies are also marked by the escalation of anti-communist campaigns in many parts of the world.

In Africa, Asia and Latin America we are witnessing the imposition of new mechanisms of national and class oppression, including economic, financial, political and military means as well as the deployment of an array of pro-imperialist NGOs.

However, in particular in Africa, Asia and Latin America life under capitalism was a continuing crisis, even before the current global economic crisis, a daily struggle for bare survival with one billion people living in squalid slums and half of the world's population surviving on less than $2 a day.

These realities have been massively aggravated. Most of these urban and rural poor, along with family members working as migrants abroad, are the displaced victims of accelerated capitalist agrarian development.

Global capitalism, spearheaded by major corporations in the agro-industrial sector, has declared war on nearly half of humanity - the three billion rural people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The declaration highlighted the resistance struggles of the working class and popular forces.

Over the past year the assault on labour rights, social-security rights and wages provoked an escalation of popular struggles, notably in Europe.

Imperialist aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America continues to meet resolute popular resistance.

In Africa and Latin America anti-imperialist forces, trade unions and social movements have escalated their struggles for people's rights and against plunder by multinational corporations.

In advancing this agenda, communists stress the significance that the organisation of the working class and the development of the struggles of the labour movement in a class-oriented direction have in the struggle for the acquisition of political power by the working class and its allies.

Particular importance is attached to three important factors - the defence, consolidation and advance of popular national sovereignty, the deepening of social alliances with working-class unity a fundamental factor in the construction of social alliances with the peasantry, the urban and rural poor, the urban middle class strata and intellectuals, and third, the strengthening of the anti-imperialist front for peace, labour rights and social rights such as free health and education. The land question, agrarian reform and rural development are important issues for the development of popular struggle in lesser-developed countries.

These are inextricably linked to food sovereignty and security, sustainable livelihoods, the defence of biodiversity, the protection of national resources and the struggle against agro-industrial monopolies and their local agents.

Finally, the declaration examined the role of communists in strengthening the anti-imperialist front for peace, environmental sustainability, progress and socialism.

We have a key role to play in drawing the critical links in theory and, above all, in practice between different arenas of popular struggle in the development of internationalist class solidarity.