The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favor with one country — NATO member the Netherlands — voting against, while Singapore abstained.
None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — took part in the negotiations or the vote.
Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — boycotted the talks as did most NATO countries.
Loud applause and cheers broke out in a UN conference hall following the vote that capped three weeks of negotiations on the text providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons.
But activists who worked to negotiate the deal say the fact that nuclear-armed countries have not participated in the process or supported the deal does not render the agreement moot.
“This treaty was really an initiative from states that don’t have nuclear weapons, and that …