Saudi Arabia protested the inclusion of gay rights in the United Nations’ new agenda for global development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were officially adopted Friday.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told a U.N. summit of world leaders that “mentioning sex in the text, to us, means exactly male and female. Mentioning family means consisting of a married man and woman,” and asserted the country’s right to disregard portions of the agenda that mandate any “deviations” from it,according to the Associated Press
The new SDG objectives replace the Millennium Development Goals that focused largely on poverty and healthcare issues. The SDGs broaden the focus by challenging inequality and also shift attention to combating climate change. Some targets, relate to universal access to reproductive healthcare and protection of sexual and gender orientation.
The Vatican has previously expressed “reservations” about the SDGs’ language surrounding sexual and reproductive rights.
Homosexuality is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia,