LONDON - Former British prime minister Gordon Brown is to become a special global education envoy to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, it was announced Saturday. The role will see Brown trying to get 61 million more children enrolled in eduation across the world by 2015 to meet a UN Millennium Development goal. He will accompany Ban on a tour of Asia in August. Brown, who has kept a low public profile since leaving office in 2010, said the new post was a "great privilege". "Ensuring that every child in the world has the opportunity to go to school and to learn is a long-standing passion of mine," he said.

"Enrolling an additional 61 million children and ensuring a quality education for all by the end of 2015 will not be easy - but it is a goal which, working together, we can achieve."

Brown will join statesmen including former US president Bill Clinton and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan as UN special envoys.

He succeeded Tony Blair as Labour prime minister in 2007 and stood down in 2010 after the party lost a parliamentary majority in general elections, to be replaced by current Conservative premier David Cameron.