LegaCarta was designed as part of the UN`s Millennium Development Goal 8, which aims to “develop an open, regular, predictable and non-discriminatory trading and financial system” and implies “a commitment to good governance”. As a practical application, LegaCarta is an instrument that helps to integrate trade into development strategies and to create a national legal framework conducive to trade and poverty alleviation. Created in November 2005 as an instrument for policy makers entitled “LegaCarta”, it has become more accessible to a wider audience since the beginning of 2011 as a web-based system. By providing information and technical assistance on all multilateral trade agreements (as well as other legal instruments such as model laws, business practices, institutional participations), the Trade Treaties Map aims to involve international institutions and professions, in particular the legal and commercial world of a country. ITC has developed a database that is a one-stop shop for the more than 750 multilateral trade agreements currently in force around the world. At the country level, the multiplicity of international agreements makes it difficult for policymakers to decide which treaties should be ratified, which should be ignored and which have a greater influence on improving the national/regional business environment. LegaCarta covers a wide range of trade-related issues (treaties, customs, dispute settlement, environment, finance, good governance, intellectual property, investment, transport and telecommunications), explanations on each instrument, updated ratification tables and country analysis profiles. These rules are overseen by 28 different international organizations. ITC`s Commercial Law Department offers a technical assistance programme to improve a given country`s legal framework for international trade, resulting in a country analysis licence.
The programme is implemented in cooperation with national policy makers, ITS and the legal and economic world. It includes trainings on multilateral trade agreements, an assessment of the country`s strengths and weaknesses, as well as training on the use of the LegaCarta database.