European governments use SDG to export liberal values



Dr Benno Zuiddam

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and LGBT supporters demonstrate their support for the LGBTQI community in front of Parliament during a plenary session in Brussels. Photo EPA, Olivier Hoslet

Many Western governments push the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). By doing so, the leaders are instrumental in the international implementation of a liberal moral agenda. SDG systematically undermines traditional family structures.

SDG is very much a European driven project. Its latest report reflects that its leaders are not only Europeans but also consider Europe as compass in a multipolar world. Unsurprisingly, the European Commission is committed to implementing the SDGs in all its policies.

The seventeen goals have attractive names, which few would disagree with, for instance: “No poverty”. But the fine print of the EU recommendations for SDG implementation reveals a different story. This becomes alarmingly clear when one takes a closer look at sustainable development goal number 5, “Gender Equality”.

Liberal values

SDG aspires to global gender neutrality in society. SDG 5 is defined as 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls'. To achieve this, the EU wants to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. This is defined “as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences”. In other words, access to contraceptives and safe abortion on demand should be a human right.

The way in which the EU is measuring success in this regard is quite clear. Firstly, in the “Proportion of women aged 15-49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care.” Secondly, in the “Number of countries with laws and regulations that guarantee full and equal access to women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education.”

The fine print also reveals that SDG 5 has an economic component. One of its aims is that women should participate in the labour market as much as possible and not be held back by care for dependent children. The EU even provides a permanent link to the European statistics on “Persons outside the labour force due to caring responsibilities by sex” to show to what extent SDG 5 is presently implemented in the EU.

In sum, the European Commission uses SDG 5 as a vehicle to deliberately push liberal values on women’s rights, sexual behaviour and abortion; while they deny the importance of responsibly dealing with the consequences of sexual behaviour. Children become either a victim of abortion or deprived of the care of their own parents, because the EU measures success of SDG 5 also in terms of percentage of women in the work (not -labour) force.

Undermining rule of law abroad

The rule of law is a secondary consideration when SDG is concerned. UN ideologists see the latter as morally superior. International Human Rights of Women, published by a UN thinktank openly advocates that on the basis of SDG 5 national laws and parental rights should be set aside in African and Asian countries: "Given the serious threats to the sexual health needs of adolescent girls in the region, one would expect that any interpretation that will be provided by the courts, as regards a female adolescent seeking sexual health treatment, will favour the girl and not unduly give regard to parental powers to exercise control."

Where governments are unwilling, “the courts can play an important role in affirming the sexual autonomy of adolescents”. This fully agrees with the views of former German federal minister Kloke-Lesch, who heads the international SDG centre in Hamburg. In an article on the SDG website, Kloke-Lesch argued for forms on international government that should be empowered to overrule national governments. In other words, the present leadership believes that SDG and its liberal policies should be enforced on countries that do not wish to comply.

Trojan horse for LGBT

Another concern for Christian lawmakers, or anyone who is in doubt about the wholesomeness of this liberal agenda, is the fact that SDG 5 is used to advance the cause of LGBT in countries where these lifestyles are presently considered to be unacceptable.

As early as 2016, shortly after the launch of SDG in 2015, the heavily subsidised lobby-group Stonewall published a guide on how to use SDG to promote liberal left-wing policies on identity and sexuality, called “LGBT Inclusion and the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Paid for by the British government (part of the EU at the time) they stated: “This policy brief is designed for charities, governments and other organisations involved in aid-spending and international development. The guide will help them to understand the issues and include LGBT people in their programmes. It suggests practical actions and provides best-practice examples from around the world."


Other European countries have similar government funded organisations which promote LGBT as part of the SDG agenda, for instance SDG Nederland, financed by the Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs, also published a LGBT manifesto (2018) which is aimed at the integration of LGBT.

As early as 2015, its Minister for Foreign Trade made 93 million euro available to fund leadership opportunities for women. The law that was introduced to this effect specifically mentioned that it was not only aimed at addressing economic inequality of women, but also inequality of sex or sexual orientation.

EU standards

Conforming with EU standards, the law points to SDG 5 and the Beijing declaration for justification. This specific policy in the field of foreign trade is merely one practical example of how SDG is used by European governments to promote and export LGBT values.

To sum up: Sustainable Development has a liberal moral agenda which is aimed at restructuring traditional societies in the image of Western European countries. It enforced emancipation and sexual freedom by financial and regulative means. SDG-5 is aimed at the breakdown of traditional patriarchal family structures and allegiances, to promote maximal participation in the neoliberal vision for a universal economy and sexual self-determination.

Benno Alexander Zuiddam DTh PhD teaches Christian ethics at the VU Amsterdam. Formerly a university professor in South Africa, he continues to be affiliated with North West University as well as Bijbels Beraad, a Christian thinktank on family and marriage in the Netherlands.



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