IGF 2023 Open Forum #92 Achieving the SDGs through secure digital transformation

Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (04:00 UTC) - Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (05:00 UTC)
WS 8 – Room C-1

Cyber Diplomacy and Peace on the Internet

Debate - 60 Min


Accelerating secure digital transformation is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Secure, trusted, and inclusive digital infrastructure is the backbone of today’s economic and social development. However, digital transformation and the expansion of the digital ecosystem also comes with increased cybersecurity risks, especially in developing countries that may lack adequate cyber resilience against constantly evolving digital threats. To empower and protect societies from increased cybersecurity risks associated with digital transformation, the Government of Sweden, the Global Forum for Cybersecurity Expertise , and Microsoft are co-championing a project on “Mainstreaming Cybersecurity into Digital Development”. The goal of this project is to bring together experts from governments, international organizations, development community, industry, and civil society to identify key challenges and opportunities around mainstreaming cybersecurity capacity building into global digital development efforts. Through a series of workshops over the course of 2023, the co-champion will aim to identify good practices, lessons learned, and recommendations for policy makers, digital development practitioners, and cyber capacity building experts on how to mainstream cybersecurity into digital development projects. Specifically, these workshops will explore how to define concrete goals and capacity building activities to support the implementation of UN norms for responsible state behavior in cyberspace, how to best integrate cybersecurity capacity building efforts within digital development programs and funds, and how to set up fit-for purpose institutions and mandates to mobilize the international community around achieving shared goals. This interactive workshop – a part in a larger series - will focus on the engage development practitioners to understand the role of digital development projects in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. Overall, the co-champions intend to leverage this session to facilitate a frank and inclusive discussion among all relevant stakeholders and distill their recommendations into a multistakeholder Compendium, to be released by the end of 2023

The organizers will designate both onsite and online moderators to facilitate interactive discussion among speakers and the audience joining online and in person. To ensure the audience is properly engaged, we intend to open the session with brief framing remarks by co-organizers and subsequently open the floor to comments from the audience. We will also prioritize questions from the online audience to facilitate inclusivity. Moreover, we intend to leverage tools, such as online polling tools and break-out discussion groups to invite views. To maximize the session's impact and drive up both in-person/online attendance, the co-organizers intend to work with speakers to amplify this session via their respective institutional social media accounts. Finally, to incentive the multistakeholder community to share their views and recommendations, we will highlight our intention to distill recommendations from this session into a multistakeholder compendium to be presented to relevant policymakers.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Global Forum for Cybersecurity Expertise, Microsoft Corporation


Lisa Svensson, Deputy Director of Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, WEOG Tereza Horejsova, Global Forum for Cybersecurity Expertise, EEG (online) Michael Karimian, Director of Digital Diplomacy, Microsoft Corporation, WEOG Moctar Yedaly, Minister of Digital Transformation and Innovation, Government of Mauretania Note: organizers also intend to invite other guest kick-off speakers from Latin America and Asia-Pacific to facilitate inclusive discussion.

Onsite Moderator

Michael Karimian, Microsoft Corporation

Online Moderator

Tereza Horejsova, Global Forum for Cybersecurity Expertise, EEG (online)


Lisa Svensson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden



Targets: The aim of this session is to advance safe and secure digitalization, which is increasingly relevant for achieving all SDGs. However, this session’s proposed focus on cybersecurity mainstreaming into digital development efforts is particularly relevant for SDG 9, 16, and 17. In terms of SDG9, cybersecurity is increasingly indispensable for building resilient infrastructure and promoting inclusive industrialization and innovation and implies the need for enhanced capacity building and technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States. In terms of SDG16, this project seeks to promote inclusive, participatory, and multistakeholder approach to digital development and cyber governance issues as well as to strengthen capacity building at all levels, and in particular in developing countries. Finally, this project touches upon multiple SDG17 targets through inter alia seeking new ways to mobilize donor commitments for cybersecurity capacity building, strengthen international cooperation and access to cybersecurity technology, knowledge, and best practices, enhance cybersecurity capacity building coherence across digital development efforts, and foster new private-public partnerships to achieve safe and secure digital transformation.