A landmark treaty banning nuclear weapons became reality on Friday, making reference to the "unacceptable suffering" of the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

A total of 122 countries gave their blessing to the unprecedented global initiative after months of negotiations at the United Nations, with only the Netherlands opposed and Singapore abstaining.

"This is a historic moment for the international community," Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the talks, told reporters. "This is the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years."