Former prime minister Gordon Brown is to become the UN's special envoy for global education.
The role will see the MP lead a campaign to meet the Millennium Development Goal for every child to be at school by the end of 2015.
He will accompany UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a tour of Asia in August as part of his new position.
Mr Brown said his appointment was a great privilege.
He said: "Ensuring that every child in the world has the opportunity to go to school and to learn is a long-standing passion of mine, and I aim to learn from other special envoys such as (former) president Clinton, Kofi Annan and Ray Chambers.
"Education breaks the cycle of poverty and unlocks better health and better job prospects.
"My hope is that the secretary-general's Education First initiative will accelerate progress not only towards the Millennium Development Goal on education, but across all the goals.
"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.
"I am delighted that I have had support and encouragement for this international work from organisations within my own constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and the support of local councillors.
"They recognise the value of Fife's links with Africa, Asia and the rest of the world and I hope more young people from Fife can get the chance to serve the needs of the poor children of the world."