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Make Cyber Norms Work

How to Increase Awareness, Augment Adherence, and Bolster Implementation with the Emerging Normative Standards in Cyberspace

4th part of our digital dicussion series "Cyberwarfare - Cyberpeacebuilding: On a Search for a Cooperative Security Architecture Cyberspace"



The cyberspace is increasingly marked by a digital arms race. The number of states that run active military cyber programs has grown in recent years. Cyber-attacks and digital disinformation campaigns have become more sophisticated and numerous. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the accelerated digitalization in almost all areas of life, the destructive potentials of cyber conflicts seem to have grown even further.

The international rules-based order is clearly showing various signs of erosion and great power competition is on the rise. The cyberspace is not exempted from this global trend. However, taking the conclusion of two multi-annual UN experts forums on cyber security in Spring 2021 (the OWEG and the UNGEE) as an occasion – we would nevertheless like to brainstorm proposals on how to move closer to a more cooperative security architecture in cyberspace. By this virtual discussion series, we aim to explore the different dimensions of cyber conflicts and elaborate on ideas of how the digital realm could become more stable and secure with the help of international cooperation.


Mittwoch, 12.05.2021
16:00 Uhr
Make Cyber Norms Work: How to Increase Awareness, Augment Adherence, and Bolster Implementation with the Emerging Normative Standards in Cyberspace

In December 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the Report of the Governmental Experts on cyber norms, rules, principles, and confidence-building measures and thereby established an internationally agreed framework that would make the digital realm more stable, secure, and peaceful. In addition, a consensus was reached that international law applies also to cyberspace – a bone of contention during previous years. Since then, the ecosystem of cyber norms has further grown and have led to more UN groups, expert commissions, industry coalitions, and multistakeholder collectives – for example, the UNGGE, the OEWG, the Paris Call, the Tech Accord, the Charter of Trust, the GCSC, or the Joint Statement on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace. All these different fora and formats have contributed to the emergence of a normative standard of appropriate behavior for states and/or non-state actors in cyberspace. There is certainly room for improvement of the cyber norms that were developed so far. The major challenges, however, lie in improving the actual impact of this emerging normative standard on real-world behavioral patterns in cyberspace. The purpose of this session is to review and deliberate ways and means through which the emerging framework on responsible cyber behavior could exert influence in the future.

Kaja CIGLIC, Senior Director, Digital Diplomacy at Microsoft, Ljubljana

Mischa HANSEL, Head, International Cybersecurity (ICS), Institute for Peace Research and Security at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), Hamburg

Alexander KLIMBURG, Director, Cyber Policy and Resilience Program at Hague Center for Strategic Studies and Director of the GCSC Initiative (Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace), The Hague

Kerstin VIGNARD, Head, Support Team to UN General Assembly, UNIDIR (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research), Geneva

17:45 Uhr
End of Discussion


Kaja Ciglic
Kaja Ciglic is a Senior Director Digital Diplomacy at Microsoft, where she has worked for nearly a decade. She leads Microsoft’s work on digital peace, focusing on encouraging international peace and stability online. Previously, she worked on the company’s international cybersecurity policy work. Before joining Microsoft, Kaja led the APCO Worldwide’s technology practice in Seattle, and worked as a director in APCO Worldwide’s Brussels office. She holds a BSC in international relations and history, and a MSC in European politics, both from the London School of Economics.
Mischa Hansel
Mischa Hansel leads IFSH’s research on "International Cybersecurity" (ICS) since February 2021. Previously, he spent several years outside academia, as a program and media officer at the Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Between 2013 and 2018, he worked as postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in International Relations at RWTH Aachen University and the University of Giessen respectively. Mischa Hansel studied political science, history, and German language and literature at the University of Cologne, where he completed his PhD with a thesis on conflict and cooperation in the field of international cybersecurity. He also worked as a visiting fellow at George Washington University, the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Leiden University.
Alexander Klimburg
Kerstin Vignard
Kerstin Vignard is an international security policy professional with over 25 years’ experience at the United Nations, with a particular interest in the nexus of international security policy and technology. Vignard is currently on temporary assignment leading UNIDIR’s team supporting the Chairmen of the latest Group of Governmental Experts (GGEs) on Cyber Security and the Open-Ended Working Group. She has led UNIDIR’s team supporting four previous cyber GGEs. Prior to this assignment, Vignard was Deputy to the Director at UNIDIR. From 2013 to 2018, she led UNIDIR’s work on the weaponization of increasingly autonomous technologies, including serving as co-Principal Investigator of a CIFAR AI & Society grant examining potential regulatory approaches for security and defence applications of AI.






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