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In this sentence from a UN document:

The prospect of direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants (Source)

I wonder what prospect means here. Neither possibility nor view fits well here, supposedly.

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    prospect : a particular event which will probably or definitely happen in the future...from Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English – JayHook Jan 26 '15 at 0:25
  • thx, Could you paraphrase this The prospect of direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources *? Does it say that this will happen in the future? then why is is said *constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants? – Juya Jan 26 '15 at 0:38
  • The event (situation) where such thing will probably or definitely happen constitute a right which is equally open to all inhabitants. Such thing, of course, refers to direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet's resources. – JayHook Jan 26 '15 at 1:58
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I would go with prospect sense 5a:

5a) something hoped for or expected; anticipated outcome

So:

The hope/expectation of direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants.

So it is saying the world's inhabitants have the hope or expectation of discovering and enjoying the planet’s resources.

As such, we have no idea or guarantee if this is what will actually happen.

  • You mean because they want it, this constitutes a right for them? May be people want many other things, so it constitutes a right? if you are a native, would you tell me if you find this sentence proper English? Looks like the writers of the code are not native English speakers and produce poor English quite a lot! – Juya Jan 26 '15 at 23:14
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    Not because they "want it". Most people would agree if someone digs in their backyard and finds a gold nugget then they should be able to keep it. A more controversial topic (and I'm guessing more in line with the author's statement) would be about a "right" to collect rainwater. See is collecting rainwater illegal. This author would likely say it should not be illegal. Why? Because of "the prospect (hope/expectation) of direct and personal access". – CoolHandLouis Jan 27 '15 at 10:48

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