Watch CBSN Live

Shakira An Advocate For Education

George Clooney. Angelina Jolie. Shakira.

Not a red carpet lineup, but a roll call of celebrities the sometimes dour British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has recruited to inject glamour into his appeals to help the developing world.

Brown joined a telephone conference Monday with Shakira, praising the Colombian pop sensation for taking an inspirational role in work to provide a basic education for every child in the world.

The Grammy-winning singer, famed for her hit "Hips Don't Lie," is supporting a week of events to highlight the cause of education advocacy group the Global Campaign for Education.

Photos: Political Action
She said the group is pressing world leaders to provide funding for primary education for 72 million young children who now miss out on schooling as a result of poverty.

The group also aims to generate support for some 226 million older children who miss out on classes because of a lack of access to schools, or because of truancy.

Brown is the world's "No. 1 champion of education," said the group's chairman, Gene Sperling, an ex-White House economic adviser to former President Clinton.

Shakira also praised Brown, who as British treasury chief in 2006, pledged $15 billion over 10 years for education in the developing world, the largest offer of aid from a Group of Eight industrialized nation.

"He is a man with wonderful intentions, he is very pro-active, he is working very hard for the issue of education," Shakira said, speaking from Washington on a conference call.

The 31-year-old singer said she had previously met Brown to discuss aid for education. "I could feel how passionate and enthusiastic he was about it," she said.

"She is inspiring people all over the world," Brown said, returning the singer's praise as he joined the call from London.

Brown has made work on meeting the Millennium Development Goals, a set of development standards on education, health, literacy and poverty, a key plank of his foreign policy.

Betraying his often gloomy demeanor, Brown regularly courts celebrities to lend backing to his campaigns.

He held talks with George Clooney earlier this month on violence in Darfur, has worked closely with Bono and Bob Geldof on aid for Africa, and chatted with Angelina Jolie in 2006 on education.