During the first decades after World War II, the global statistical community under the leadership of the UN Statistical Commission developed and agreed upon a comprehensive economic statistical system, but failed to agree upon a system for social statistics. SAM models, social indicators and living condition surveys are established as viable but separate traditions. The recent agreement on Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction Strategies has now created a demand, a challenge and an opportunity for the global statistical community to develop, first, an integrated approach for MDG and PRS moni-toring, and, second, a social statistical system. During 2004 the international organisations declared their commitment to the first of these steps. However, long-term commitment and implementation are needed as a convincing re-sponse to the Millennium Development Declaration of 2000.