Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 19, 2023. AFP
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Lula said: "I have reiterated that work needs to be done to create space for negotiations."
He added: "A lot is invested in weapons and very little in development."
Lula, who has faced accusations in the West of being soft on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
Zelensky had previously sought a one-on-one meeting with Lula at the G7 summit in Japan in May, but the attempt fizzled.
Relations are tense between Zelensky and Lula, who has said that the Ukrainian leader is "as responsible" for the war as Russian President Vladimir Putin and has refused to join Western nations in imposing sanctions on Russia or supplying munitions to Ukraine.
Lula has sought to position Brazil as a potential mediator in the conflict, along with other "neutral" countries, including China, India and Indonesia.