Pathways for a United World

Just look at how far people are already travelling along different ways in a cooperative effort to build up the unity of our world. In keeping with their own opportunities and the needs around them, they’ve mended broken relationships, healed divisions, tackled the most grievous conflicts between individuals, groups or generations… Look at the daily wonders that are lived out with such commitment all around us”.
Chiara Lubich, to the Genfest youth festival, 1990

This world of ours is deeply wounded by inequality, conflict, violence, natural disasters, corruption …
Through the Pathways for a United World we are proposing to progress step by step towards a more united world. How? By basing our worldview on seeing everyone as members of one world family and allowing this to impact on our relationships and actions in all spheres of life, as indicated in the formation and action program: “Pathways for a United World”.

Brief history

At the launch of Y4UW in 1985, Focolare Movement founder Chiara Lubich offered a strategy to reach the goal of a united world. Under the banner “Many ways for a united world”, she urged young people to pursue all possible ways to bring unity, through large and small scale initiatives aimed at renewing society from within, reviving love at its heart, as communicated in the Gospel.

This was the catalyst for action in a wide range of directions or “ways”, all leading towards the same goal: a more united world. It led to progress in a culture of giving, in welcoming others while respecting their diversity, in walking along the way of peace, of re-establishing unity between people and the natural environment, the way of respect for life and of promoting social harmony, etc.


This strategy inspired Pathways for a United World: a 6-year global plan to highlight six specific “pathways”, focusing on one each year:

Pivotal to the rolling out of the plan is the annual United World Week event held around the globe. A different continent will take the lead each year to evaluate and share the progress made globally along that year’s pathway, and to launch the next one. We aspire through these endeavors to contribute towards achieving the UN’s Global Goals, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030, adopted by 193 member states in the United Nations Summit of September 2015.

Pathway of economy, work and communion
from an econo-my to an econom-all

We live in an inter-connected world. As the third millennium advances, the central role played by the global economy and finance markets becomes clearer and clearer. Many of the problems afflicting our world can be traced back to an unbalanced economic system which values money and power at the expense of the needs of people and our planet.
We dream of a world in which no-one is in need. A world in which everyone has the opportunity to develop to their full human potential, materially and spiritually.
We know the world starts to change when we change ourselves. We recognize that we ourselves can be the prime movers of change.


That no-one may be in need.


We commit to living a communion of goods, through our personal and group actions, in response to the huge inequalities in our world. We count ourselves among the promoters of a new culture: the culture of giving, in a context of equality when those who give find they receive, and those receiving are actually giving. We recognize that we all have something to give: goods, talents, our time and even our needs. We seek ways to encourage the development of each person’s abilities to benefit the common good.

Action plan

We start from our own personal commitment in order to contribute towards global economic change. We propose joint action for change to tackle existing poverty and to prevent it in the future:

Poverty: we pledge to look beyond our own needs, to recognize the social inequalities around us in our neighborhoods and nations, and to take effective concrete actions to make sustainable improvement;

Work and production: we pledge to campaign and act to ensure that conditions of work and economic activity are carried out in respect of human rights, of nature and of the common good;

Consumers: we pledge to be responsible consumers promoting good habits of taking and using only what we really need;

Investment and saving: we pledge to exercise and promote ethical financial practices, personally and in our institutions.

Resources and formation

Resource materials and more detailed information about participating in Pathways for a United World will soon be available online.

  • LEARN Formation resources
  • EXPLO Steps taken along Pathways to a United World
  • HANDS4HUMANITY Opportunities for action